World Champions Fernando Fernandes, Patrick Mahoney, Sandor Szabo, Christine Gauthier and Christine Sellinger are just a handful of top paracanoeists that will be in Poznan, Poland next week to defend their titles at the 2012 ICF Paracanoe World Championships.
The Championships will be held at the impressive Malta Regatta Course from 16-17 May and 100 athletes from 31 National Federations, a major step up from a year ago. All athletes will be vying for the accolade of World’s Best in their category.
This is the fourth year that the World Championships will be held, and ahead of Paracanoe’s inaugural Olympic Games in Rio 2016, Canada, Brazil, Hungary, Italy and GBR continue to be the leaders in developing the sport. All four countries stood on the podium twice last year at the World Championships in Szeged.
Great Britain’s Pat Mahoney, 2011 ICF Paracanoeist of the year, will be looking to hold on to the V1 Men’s 200m (LTA) title he won last year.
It's great to see that even more countries than last year have risen to the challenge of Paracanoeing in 2012. This sport has grown every year and with that the levels of commitment,training, drive to do and be your best is ever prominent.
"There are no boundaries in Paracanoeing, just the person in front, and if that happens to be you then it's you versus the clock, (just as it is in able bodied racing)!"
Last year Hungary’s Sandor Szabo and Katalin Kajdai took first place in the V1 Men’s 200m and K1 Women’s 200m (A) respectively and both Marta Santos and Fernando Fernandes starred for Brazil, as they won the K1 Women’s 200m (LTA) and Men’s 200m (TA), respectively. Canada’s Christine Gauthier and Christine Selinger both took home gold medals in the K1 Women’s 200m (LTA) and the V1 Women’s 200m (LTA).
Italian paddler Stefano Chiozzotto won the V1 Men’s 200m (A) and teammate Sandra Truccolo was victorious in the V1 Women’s 200m (TA). Austria’s Markus Swoboda also impressed with his win in the K1 Men’s 200m (TA), but it would be Romania’s Iulian Serban who won over the crowds with his performance in the K1 Men’s 200m (LTA).
The Paracanoe World Championships in Poznan will be held alongside the European Qualifiers and are the season openers for ICF competitions, the Championships will be followed by the Canoe Sprint World Cup I (18 – 20 May).