The first international sprint canoe – kayak event of the season kicks off in Racice, Czech Republic on Friday, May 20th, and looks set to be the first full competition since the disruption caused by COVID-19.
Support from the international canoe family has guaranteed a strong contingent of Ukrainian athletes will compete as more than 500 athletes from 50 countries are scheduled to descend upon the Czech paddling center approximately 28 miles (45 km) north of the Czech capital city Prague. For some countries it will be their first major international competition, outside the Olympics, since the beginning of the pandemic.
The lifting of travel restrictions means New Zealand’s five-time Olympic gold medalist Lisa Carrington and Australia’s K2 1000 Tokyo gold medalists Tom Green and Jean Van Der Westhuyzen get to compete at their first world cups since 2019.
Our good friends on the Lithuanian Canoe – Kayak team are poised to challenge for a top finish and have phenomenal depth of experience competing on the world stage.
A few races we have our eye on:
The Lithuanian men’s K4-500 crew will be led by brothers Simonas and Mindaugas Maldonis and anchored by strongmen Ignas Navakauskas and Arturas Seja. Mindaugas Maldonis, will also compete in the K2-500 with Andrej Olijnik – a 1000 m specialist – with an eye on the gold medal.
And we’re especially pleased to announce that LA’s own Kali Wilding will take the waters in her first international competition as a member of the USA senior team with her K2 partner Kaitlyn McElroy in the women’s 500 m race and the women’s K4-500 with Emma McDonald, Kaitlyn McElroy, and Savanna Wright.
Follow the ICF World Cup live here.