Russia’s Maria Kazakova dominates the Women’s C1 200 meter event to take Gold at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup #3, in Moscow. Following closely behind was Iran’s first female canoeist Nadyeh Talanak for the Silver. Russia’s Maria Lebedeva took the Bronze. See results here. Canoeists from Ecuador, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan rounded out the field in this last of 3 World Cup events.
This is the first year for international competition for women canoeists from Iran and Uzbekistan! Excellent performances in such a short period of time. Women’s canoe has been on the official International Canoe Federation program since 2010 (C1 200m – singles canoe – only). The C2 500 (doubles canoe) was added to the official program in 2011. Because of this, more national federations, like Iran, see the value of adding women’s canoe to their national level programs and dedicating funding to coaches and athletes. But still more federations lag behind in this regard, with women still having to pay for their own training, travel and coaching – including in the U.S. This significantly affects full participation levels at all international competitions and development camps. Once the ICF added women’s canoe to the official program, national federation participation doubled (from 2009-2010) to 21 countries.
The women’s canoe field has over 25 countries competing at various international events. The final frontier is: the Olympics. Women’s canoe is not included in the 2012 London Olympic Games, but with the International Olympic Committee’s recent announcement of women’s canoe being added to the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, our chances of inclusion in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro are strengthened.
Interest and passion are obvious. Olympic inclusion triggers the release of financial resources to support development, training and travel for these pioneering athletes. Women canoeists deserve the same environment for success as their male counterparts. It is time!
Photos by Balint Vekassy:
Iran’s first female canoeist Nadyeh Talanak takes the Silver in the C1 (singles canoe) 200 meter event at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup #3.