By Nina Jelenc | ECA

The 2017 ECA Canoe Marathon European Championships in Ponte de Lima concluded with another round of fantastic racing and celebration of Hungarian and Spanish crews. Renata Csay and Alexandra Barra picked up gold medal in women’s K2 event, Adrian Boros and Laszlo Solti in men’s K2, while Antonio Campos and Jose Sanchez won European Champion title in men’s C2 event.

Living legend of canoe marathon Renata Csay again won gold medal, this time pairing with Alexandra Barra in women’s K2. 40-year-old Hungarian paddler won gold medals both in women’s K1 and K2 in the last three editions of European Championships. She was the best in both events in Bohinj, Pontevedra and now in Ponte de Lima. Csay and Barra crossed the finish line half a minute faster than their team colleagues Lili Katona and Eniko Vaczai. Eva Barrios and Aurora Figueras won bronze medal for Spain.

Renata Csay and Alexandra Barra (HUN)

“It was very hard, but very good race. The wind was very strong. We were very excited because we did not know which lap was the last and we had to ask people standing by the course, which lap is this. We were a little afraid of British girls, because she was very good yesterday. Congratulations to all the girls,” said Alexandra Barra after the race.

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Another gold medal for Hungary of the day was won by Adrian Boros and Laszlo Solti. Adrian Boros, like Renata Csay, won two medals this weekend. At the end it was all about Spain versus Hungary, with only Boros and Solti (HUN) and Bouzan – Fernandez, Perez – Llorens (ESP) still in the game for the title after the last metres of the race. Hungarians manage to find enough strength to cross the finish line in a first place, a second and a half ahead of Walter Bouzan and Alvaro Fernandez. Spanish crew had a lot of problems before the first portage, after Bouzan broke his paddle, he also fell into the water after losing balance, but they came back after an amazing race to pick up silver medal. Luis Perez and Miguel Llorens finished third.

Adrian Boros and Laszlo Solti (HUN)

“Spanish guys said they broke their paddle at the first portage, but we did not realise that. We just went forward. We had tactics to keep up with the rest and at the portages we wanted to push. We did it. At the sixth portage we realised we can take the lead, we decided we just need to push and we wanted to decide it at the finish,” commented Solti the race.

It might have been Hungary who won two gold medals and silver today, but in the last day’s medal count Spain took the top position with five medals altogether. Hungary and Spain were actually the only two countries who won medals today.

It was Antonio Campos, another athlete who also won medal already yesterday, together with Jose Sanchez who won European Champion title in men’s C2 race. They were 1.87 seconds faster than Hungarian duo Marton Kover – Adam Docze, and another Spanish crew Oscar Grana – Miguel Llorens picked up bronze medal.

Antonio Campos and Jose Sanchez (ESP)

Tono Campos was happy after he won his second medal of the weekend, “We had a big battle with Hungarians. We worked together the whole race and then had a very exciting and very strong final. We worked together to escape the other boats, other Spanish boat, Polish crew, and then it was just between us until the end. We are now already looking towards South Africa, we hope we will be even stronger there. We did not have much training together before this championships.”

The 2018 ECA Canoe Marathon European Championships will be organised in Croatia.


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