By Nina Jelenc | ECA
The last day of the 2017 ECA Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, brought 44 races, 32 of them were A finals in the 500 and 200 metres events in junior and U23 categories. It was a big day for teams of Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, Russia, Belarus and also Serbia as their athletes regularly stood on the winner’s podium.
Fans on the stands of Ada Ciganlija could celebrate eight medals won by Serbian athletes, which was a great end of this year’s Junior and U23 European Championships for the host nation. Marija Dostanić who finished second last year in the women’s junior 500 metres event, crossed the finish line half a second faster than Sofie Kinclova (CZE) and Alina Svita (BLR). Nikolina Mijušković won two European Champion titles for Serbia. First in C1W junior 200 metres final and later in the C2W junior 200 metres final together with Nikolina Milić. Marko Dragosavljević, two times European champion in 200 metres senior event, picked up gold medal in K1M U23 200 metres final, Bojan Zdelar was third in junior 500 metres K1 final, Simo Boltić and Stefan Vekič also finished the 500 meters event (K2M U23) in the third position as well as Nemanja Stanivuković – Strahinja Stefanović in 200 metres U23 K2M final. Last year’s Junior European Champion in 200 metres K1W event Biljana Relić made an excellent transition to the U23 category by winning a silver medal in today’s K1W U23 200 metres final.
Dominika Wlodarczyk (POL) first won European Champion title in women’s K4 U23 500 metres final and later added another gold medal to her collection in the K1W U23 200 metres final. Swedish Linnea Stensils also won two medals today – silver in K1W U23 500 metres event and bronze in K1W U23 200 metres final. They were not, however, the only athletes with two medals of the last championships day. Dorota Borowska (POL) became European Champion in the C1W U23 200 metres final and was second in 500 metres, while Kseniia Kurach (UKR) picked up two bronze medals – first in the 500 meters final and later in the C1W U23 200 metres event.
Russian canoeist Ian Kavaliauskas had an amazing weekend in Serbia. The junior athlete first won silver medal in the 1000 C1M final, continued with silver in the 500 metres event and concluded in style with bronze in the 200 metres final.
He was not the only athlete though with medals in 1000 meters and 500 meters events. Kavaliauskas and Ryhor Maisiuk (BLR) were second and first both in 1000 metres and 500 metres final, Karina Biben – Olga Bako (HUN) picked up gold medal in the 1000 and 500 metres final. Oleh Kukharyk (UKR) and Artuur Peters (BEL) were also first and second in the both events. The same applies for Pavlo Althukov (UKR) and Carlo Tacchini (ITA), they just switched places. Althukov who was second in the 1000 meters event reached the top in the 500 metres event and Tacchini finished second today.
Hermien Peters (BEL) managed to defend her European Champion title she won last year in Plovdiv in the K1W U23 500 metres final. Anna Pulawska (POL) who was second last year, finished third this time. Moldavian C2M U23 duo Sprincean – Nuta who were second in the 1000 metres final, won an European champion title in the 500 metres final, while Vandiuk – Rybachok (UKR) who were third on Saturday’s 1000 metres final, finished Sunday’s race in second position.
Henrikas Zustautas (LTU), who was one of the main favourites in the C1M U23 200 metres event, won gold. He was second last year at Senior European Championships and third in Plovdiv at 2016 Junior and U23 European Championships. Hleb Saladukha (BLR), another medallist of senior level events, finished second and Danila Karpov (RUS) in men’s C1M U23 200 metres final.
During the last day of championships in Belgrade representatives of Poland, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, Belarus, Spain, Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Moldavia, Denmark, Great Britain, Latvia and Lithuania.
The 2018 ECA Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships will be organised in Auronzo, Italy.