The fight will be much bitter

Chief Official Jens Kahl (Germany) stressed the water regatta, holding in Zaslavl these days, is the largest tournament, organized by the International Canoe Federation (ICF). 68 countries submitted the applications for participation in the Championships, 62 counties have come to Belarus.

Chief Official Jens Kahl (Germany) 

— The Regatta Course in Zaslavl corresponds to all criteria for holding such major competitions. We have already seen the teams of Hungary, Russia, Germany, Belarus spurted into the leaders. They are at the leading roles, but I like that even “small” counties have come to the final and have had the possibility to fight for the medals.

I think such a tendency is linked to the fact that these countries focus all their forces on particular athletes, that’s their sportsmen show sometimes very high results. The International Canoe Federation holds a great number of competitions, including Junior&U23 Championships, that’s why it’s so difficult to follow-up the results and speak about stability or instability. It’s necessary to keep a check on performance of the teams and the athletes during the whole year.

- Someone could, for example, show perfect result at the recent Junior&U23 Championships in Bulgaria, but today has failed?

-Yes, it may happen. I have not noticed the things like these at the current Championships. Everybody manages expectations. But many years of trainings are needed to have result stability and constantly count on the medals.
- Apart from “little” countries is there anyone who has pleasantly wondered?
- I really like the development of such discipline as women canoe. The representatives of South Africa came to Belarus and may fight at the highest level. I would like to point it out as an undeniable advantage of the competitions.
- Were the athletes from Iran able to count on anything more than performance in heats?
- Still they are not able. But the International Federation organizes special training programs for the developing countries. And there are no doubts it will give positive results after a while.
- How can you estimate today performance of the Belarusian team?
- You have very strong athletes. They participate in all disciplines and today races have shown they have good chances to gain not one but two and more medals.
The spectators help much supporting them. But in the same time Belarusians feel they are responsible for the result. This extra pressure bothers them to demonstrate the maximum of their abilities.
- Is it possible to define who may count on the medals in two upcoming days?
- There are some favorites but I can’t say who is exactly. Moreover the final is the final and everything may happen. Someone may demonstrate the highest result in the semi-final, but in the final races the athlete may not control the feelings and be taken by the psychological pressure.
- Are you satisfied with today fight at the course?
- Surely. There is a core element of our kind of sport at the current Championships – fight till the last meters. The spectators are not interested when the athletes win with a lead of five boats. We need the fight for the very finish. We have seen it today. We expect the battle will be bitter tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.

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