Friday, 29 March 2013

Preview of the 41st Amsterdam Waterland Marathon

Proofreading: Rosalyn Lawrence

In less than a month the 41st Amsterdam Waterland Marathon will take place. On the 20th of April we will see a diverse group of world class athletes taking on the challenge of beating each other and the track record set by Manuel Busto Fernandez, who has won the Waterland marathon twice.
Tournament director and ex -European Champion Edwin de Nijs shares his expectations of the upcoming episode of the ICF Classic Marathon series:

"For the senior men’s competition I expect a very tough race for the world class athletes as well as for all others, due to the great variety of international paddlers. Our Dutch representative Joep van Bakel, who finished in 6th place at the last Marathon World Championships, will be challenged by the Swedish Jacob Holst, his training buddy Rasmus Jaruta, the Hungarian Gyula Bauer, Thomas Jezek and Spanish Miquel Adsera.

The Swedish athletes are expected to be very fit since they are practicing an extensive training program in Florida as we speak. They will need to be fit if they want to take on the challenge of beating Thomas Jezek, who in the past has won several medals at European and World Championship races.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Laurens Pannecoucke wins the Gent marathon under the snow

Belgian Olympian paddler Laurens Pannecoucke won this weekends marathon race at Gent (Belgium) under heavy weather conditions, with strong wind, snow and around 0ºC degrees.

Not the best weather for a paddle at Gent... Photo: Olaf Heijne
The senior race, of 26 km., was leaded from the vey start by a group of four paddlers, including Pannecoucke, Bram Brandjes (NED), Joep van Bakel (NED) and Florian Wölke (GER), who were in a compact paddle for most of the race. But at the fifth portage, Pannecoucke and van Bakel pushed hard and went on their own for the last 8 km. There, no surprise with the victory of Pannecoucke, showing his sprint skills over a superb van Bakel. Three minutes later, Brandjes was also beating Wölke in the fight for third position on the podium. More than 6 minutes from the first paddlers began to arrive a larger group also well known marathon paddlers as Jonas Saelens, Erik Verduyckt or Tom Cremers, not having their best day under the extreme conditions.

In the Women's race, victory for Hermien Peters (BEL), who ended in a sprint final with her junior teammate Karolien Plas, winner in her category. And a well known family name winning too at the Men Junior race, with comfortable victory of Dries Broekx (BEL) with more than three minutes over the second position, which went to James Russel (GBR)

Something similar for the Masters, over 18 km., where Olaf Heijne (NED) took control of the race along with Dirk de Visscher (BEL), claiming Heijne the final victory at the sprint by just one second, finishing in a very good time of 1h41'59".

You can check the results at this link.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Tono Campos is the new Spanish Winter C1 Champion over 5,000 metres

The C1 Man Senior served on Sunday morning in Seville to verify, as it happened in the K1 Women, that a new generation of canoeists is on the track to follow the great paddlers already established. Many U23 paddlers and good times in the race.

Campos followed by Romero. Photo: Fotoyos
After a clean enough start, considering they were 70 paddlers (although not without two or three capsizes, as usual in this discipline), the seeded paddlers were grouped on the left side of the channel to slowly become a reduced group of four paddlers in the return to the first turn at the finish line. Diego Romero commanded the race with Sánchez and Campos on the side washes while the young U23 Alan Ávila was hardly keeping the diamond wash, which he lost just by the third kilometre of race, paying the big effort of keeping the strong pace of the big ones.

A little further back, Manuel Garrido tried to close the gap lost after a poor start and came vigorously about 50 meters behind of Ávila, who tried desperately to return to the leading group, but with no success.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Eva Barrios again in a gold medal performance at Spanish Winter Champs

Very high level was seen in Sunday's final of the Senior Women K1, where Eva Barrios gave another example of her great form and won a deserved gold medal in a hotly contested race.

Barrios, in white, on the wash of Contreras. Foto: Fotoyos
After Saturday's 2,000, fifty paddlers started the race and immediately formed a large group ahead with all the favorites for the title. Alternation of several paddlers in the lead, as Laura Pedruelo, Ana Isabel Martinez Contreras or Sanjurjo, but without tightening the race so much that the group had just being diminished. On the wash always seemed comfortable Eva Barrios, who tended not to spend too much force while Ainara Portela looked to have trouble catching the last wave and suffered on the back of the group, which closed the Majorcan Elena Monleón. Further back was a second group whith Mary Soria, Raquel Carbajo, Carla Pérez, Tania María Fernández and Corbera, among others.

The two short laps, in front of the large crowd that filled the banks of the CAR of La Cartuja, accentuated the feeling that Eva Barrios was keeping her bullets for later, while Contreras and Pedruelo were taking turns on the mark. On the second wash were also unknown the intentions of Begoña Lazkano, which seemed to be waiting for her time, while Ana Martinez seemed already be paying the effort after setting the pace all the first lap.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Emilio Llamedo claims gold in a spectacular 5000m Spanish Championships race

Emilio Llamedo, "Milín", got crowned once again at the Winter Championships in Spain getting his fourth title in 5,000m after a brilliant race that he ended up surpassing Javier Hernanz and Francisco Cubelos in a long and tight sprint, entering commanding a long row of paddlers who reported the good health of current senior category in Spain. Not surprisingly 19 of them finished below 21 minutes, with a 20'02 " gold medal time.

Four Winter Championships for Llamedo at just 25 years old. Foto: E. Durán

Under a very nice weather, the senior K1 race was the highlight of a Sunday  morning that we will comment in successive entries. After a hectic start, as usual with the 70 best paddlers from the qualifying on Saturday over 2,000 meters (and it must be said, somewhat like a "pretty bad start" by the officials), the lead was divided into two arrow points, one with the main favorites on the left bank, with Hernanz, Cosgaya and Cubelos, while the center lined was leaded by Olympic Champion Carlos Perez Rial with Carlos Garrote and Rodrigo Germade on his wash. Meanwhile, an explosive Joan Ardit tried it himself on the right.

Finally, under Barqueta bridge, the race surrendered to the pace set by Javier Hernanz, who leaded the return of the first lap followed by a large group of at least a dozen paddlers with all favorites except perhaps Emilio Merchán, who came in a very large second group led by Kiko Vega, just 30 meters off the lead.