Ukraine’s Oleh Kukharyk and Ihor Trunov fought back tears after storming home to win the men’s K2 500, a new event on the Olympic program for Paris in 2024, and then issued a plea for the world to keep helping their country in the fight against Russia.
“My grandfather, my mother, my sister, they are all in the war area,” Trunov said.
“A rocket bombed my town. My parents are hiding under their house. The railway station was bombed. Many people, many children died.
“Please help Ukraine.”
Liudmyla Luzan similarly struggled to control her emotions after winning her second gold medal of the weekend, adding the C1 500 to the C1 1000 she won on Saturday.
“It is so difficult for us to train and compete when we know what is happening in our country,” Luzan said.
“My family is in a safe place at the moment, but every day is different and there are always missiles and rockets, so you can never be sure.
“We believe we will win, not just on the sport field but the war as well. Every day we think about people who are being killed, including children as well who shouldn’t be in this war.”
The Lithuanian men’s K4 500 team also achieved a fantastic result, claiming the bronze medal in their first World Cup after the long winter training season. Ukraine took the silver and Spain won gold, +1.36 ahead of the Lithuanians.
Next up, the second 2022 Sprint World Cup in Poland, May 26 – May 29.