Races are underway today at the 2014 Canoe Sprint European Championships in Brandenburg, Germany. Belgian fans were amongst the first to arrive to watch the day’s competition. There was also a large contingent of Hungarian fans making their presence felt.
Russian Anastasiya Kharitonova took the first place in the preliminares, winning the women’s 1,000 meters event race. She was followed by Sofia Paldanius and Palma Ruzici Benedek. All three qualified for the event finals. In the next race, German Anne Knorr had a fifth place finish which was good enough to qualify her for the semifinals.
In another race this morning, German Sebastian Brendel did well enough to qualify directly into the 1,000 meter final on Sunday. Max Hoff qualified into the semifinals later this afternoon. Because of the size of the field in his race, there was no ability to qualify directly into the finals.
The women’s 500 K4 race saw the German boat with Franziska Weber, Tina Dietze, Verena Hantl and Conny Waßmuth qualify into the finals. The Belorussian boat had technical problems, that resulted in them leaving the course. This problem resulted in their disqualification.
World champion Tom Kierey came in first in the LTA preliminaries. In a C2 1,000 meter race, Yul Öltze and Ronald Verch managed a third place finish which qualified them for the final. Ivo Kilian finished third in the TA Canoe Sprint and qualifed for the finals.
The event officially kicked off yesterday with an opening ceremony and a parade of nations. Participating countries include Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Bulgaria. Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Great Britain, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Republic of Macedonia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Slovakia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and Germany.
Sebastian Brendel is Germany’s lone representative in his particular canoeing discipline. He is scheduled to compete in three events, the 500, 1000 and 5000 meters. The lack of other rowers in his class means domestically he has to train on his own and beat the clock instead of a teammate. According to Brendel, the sport has stagnated a bit in the country despite some excellent plays to row. The lack of growth means it is harder to get funding and sponsorship to compete. Brendel has had to continue his work with the Federal Police while training for the 2016 Summer Paralympics, which he is seeking to qualify for.
While the event purported to have a live feed, there were problems accessing it.