Rare Olympic-World Championships double on offer at 2021 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships

For the first time ever, the canoe sprint World Championships will take place in the same year as the Olympic Games, when the Worlds begin in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 16 September.

By ZK Goh
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

For the first time in history, an ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships is being held in the same year as an Olympic Games.

From 16–19 September, some of the world's best will look to add to their Tokyo 2020 success – or make up for disappointment – on Lake Bagsværd to the northwest of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The 2021 Championships, which will consist of 40 events in Olympic, non-Olympic, and paracanoe categories, also mark the centenary of the host association, the Danish Canoe Federation, which was founded in 1921.

It is the 46th time the Championships have been held, and the fourth time it has taken place in Copenhagen (with the last being in 1993). Paracanoe events were added in 2010.

With the Championships falling only around a month and a half after the conclusion of the Olympic Games regatta, a number of champions and medallists have opted to skip the event, although others will be present in the Danish capital to claim the rare feat of winning both Olympic and World titles in the same year.

You can catch the action from Copenhagen on the Olympic Channel live stream of the Canoe Sprint World Championships on Saturday and Sunday, 18–19 September (territorial restrictions may apply).

What events will be held at the 2021 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships?

Just as in Szeged, Hungary, two years ago at the last World Championships, there will be 30 canoe sprint and 12 paracanoe events held in Copenhagen.

The paracanoe events will build on the nine that were held at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Races will be held over 200m in three impairment classifications for men and women in both a traditional kayak, as well as the va‘a – a Polynesian term for a longer boat with an outrigger mounted on one side of the boat to aid balance.

Canoe sprint events will take place in both canoes and kayaks, the two standard boats for the sport. In canoeing, paddlers are in a kneeling position and use a paddle with only one blade for both steering and propulsion, while kayakers race while sitting down using paddles with two blades for propulsion and a foot rudder for steering.

Unlike at the Olympic Games, the World Championships also include canoe sprint events over 5kmfive times the distance of the longest Olympic event. There will also be a mixed K2 event over 200 metres.

Who are the stars to watch?

In the women's kayak events, the triple Tokyo gold medallist Lisa Carrington of New Zealand is not competing, meaning home paddler Emma Jørgensen goes into the two singles events over 200m and 500m among the favourites.

Hungary are traditional powerhouses in the sport and Tamara Csipes in the women's kayak events as well as Sándor Tótka, Bálint Kopasz, and Ádám Varga in the men's kayak races will also feature highly on podiums looking to add to their achievements from Tokyo.

While Tokyo men's K4 500m silver medallists Spain are sending a different-looking team to Copenhagen, two members of that Tokyo K4 boat will instead compete in the K2 over the same distance – Rio 2016 singles gold medallist Marcus Cooper Walz and Rodrigo Germade, who should be able to threaten the Hungarians.

The canoe events will be without three of the four Olympic champions, as Isaquias Queiroz (men's C1 1000m), Nevin Harrison (women's C1 200m), and Xu Shixiao/Sun Mengya (women's C2 500m) are all not in Copenhagen. With Canada's women's C1 silver medallist Laurence Vincent-Lapointe also opting to miss the Worlds, the field seems open.

That ought to play into the hands of names like Moldova's Serghei Tarnovschi, the Tokyo men's C1 bronze medallist, and Liudmyla Luzan, the Ukrainian who won women's C1 bronze and C2 silver in Tokyo.

However, no such luck for the men in the C2 1000m – Cuban Olympic champs Serguey Torres and Fernando Jorge are back and looking to convert their silver from the last three World Championships into gold.

2021 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships schedule in Copenhagen

All times local time (CEST, 2 hours ahead of UTC)

Thursday 16 September
09:00 Heats
: Paracanoe KL1 men 200m, KL2 men 200m, KL3 men 200m, VL3 women 200m; Canoe sprint K2 women 200m, C2 women 500m, K1 men 1000m, C1 men 1000m, K1 women 1000m
11:30 Semi-finals: Paracanoe KL1 men 200m, KL2 men 200m, KL3 men 200m, VL3 women 200m
11:55 Heats: Canoe sprint K1 women 200m, C1 women 500m
14:00 Heats: Canoe sprint K2 men 1000m, C2 men 1000m, K2 women 500m, K4 men 500m; Paracanoe KL1 women 200m, VL3 men 200m, KL3 women 200m, VL2 men 200m, KL2 women 200m
16:25 Semi-finals: Canoe sprint K2 women 200m, C2 women 500m, K1 men 1000m, C1 men 1000m, K1 women 1000m
17:45 Finals: Paracanoe VL1 women 200m, VL3 women 200m, VL1 men 200m

Friday 17 September
09:00 Heats: Canoe sprint C1 women 200m, K1 men 200m, C2 women 200m, K1 women 500m, C2 mwn 500m, K2 men 500m*
10:45 Semi-finals: Paracanoe KL1 women 200m, VL2 men 200m, KL2 women 200m, VL3 men 200m, KL3 women 200m
*
11:20 Heats: Canoe sprint K1 men 500m, K4 women 500m, C1 men 500m
14:00 Semi-finals: Canoe sprint K1 women 200m, C1 women 500m, K2 men 1000m, C2 men 1000m, K2 women 500m, K4 men 500m
15:30 Finals: Paracanoe VL3 men 200m (B race), VL2 men 200m, VL2 women 200m, VL3 men 200m
15:55 Semi-finals: Canoe sprint C1 women 200m, K1 men 200m, C2 women 200m, K1 women 500m, C2 men 500m, K2 men 500m

Saturday 18 September
09:30 Finals (B races)
: Canoe sprint K2 women 500m, K4 men 500m, K1 men 1000m, C1 men 1000m, K1 women 200m; Paracanoe KL3 men 200m
10:20 Finals: Paracanoe KL1 men 200m, KL2 women 200m, KL3 women 200m, KL2 men 200m, KL1 women 200m, KL3 men 200m; Canoe sprint K2 women 200m, C2 women 500m, K1 men 1000m, C1 men 1000m, K1 women 1000m, K1 women 200m, C1 women 500m, K2 men 1000m, C2 men 1000m, K2 women 500m, C4 men 500m, K4 men 500m
14:00 Semi-finals: Canoe sprint C1 men 500m, K1 men 500m, K4 women 500m
15:10 Heats: Canoe sprint K2 mix 200m
16:10 Semi-finals: Canoe sprint K2 mix 200m

Sunday 19 September
10:30 Finals (B races)
: Canoe sprint K1 women 500m, K2 men 500m, K1 men 500m, K1 men 200m
11:03 Finals: Canoe sprint C1 women 200m, K1 men 200m, K1 women 500m, C2 women 200m, C2 men 500, K2 men 500m, C1 men 500m, C4 women 500m, K1 men 500m, K4 women 500m, C2 mix 200m, K2 mix 200m (B race), K2 mix 200m, C1 women 5km, C1 men 5km, K1 women 5km, K1 men 5km

Where to watch Copenhagen 2021 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships

You can catch the action from Copenhagen on the Olympic Channel live stream of the Canoe Sprint World Championships on Saturday and Sunday, 18–19 September (territorial restrictions may apply).

Competition will also be shown via the ICF's media partners, with Eurovision Sport holding worldwide distribution rights except in Canada, China and New Zealand.

The international federation will also make coverage available on its website.