International Open Canoe Sprint Competition 2019 concluded at Upper Lake on Monday. India topped the overall medal tally with 19 medals while Portugal stood second with 10 medals. The competition was organised by Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association in partnership with Dunst Nolan. The last day of the competition was a tough one for India as no Indian player won a medal.
Monday’s competition witnessed four events – two events of canoeing were organised while two events of kayaking were held. The first event was C1 Women’s 200m final. Emmanuel of Nigeria won the gold medal, Ming Yu of Hong Kong won Silver medal and Darya of Kazakhstan won the bronze medal.
The second event was K1 Men’s 200m final. Igor Samuel of Portugal won Gold medal, Ruben Manuel of Portugal won silver medal and Pak Yin clinched bronze medal. The third event was C1 Men’s 200m final. Kuan Chieh clinched gold medal, Damnoev of Tajikistan won Silver medal and Faruh of Kazakhstan won bronze medal. The last event of the competition was K1 Women’s 200m final. Ines Dos Santos clinched the gold medal, Sassi Khaoula bagged the silver medal and Vlada had to satisfy with the bronze medal.
Salam Sunil Singh proved to be the best performer for India with 4 gold medals. Free Press had a chat with the star paddler from Manipur. Sunil told Free Press that he is into water sports since he was fifteen years old. On being asked whether to expect a gold medal from him in coming Olympics, Sunil said, “Qualifiers of Olympics will be held at Thailand and if I get selected I will give my best and let’s hope that I will bring a medal for the country.”
“My father is a fisherman and this is how I got into water and because there was only one boat and many paddlers, I had to paddle fast,” Sunil told to Free Press. This 21-years-old paddler is in team India since 2015.
Free Press also talked to two of the paddlers of Kenya- Vincent Oundo Mudunyi and Kelvin Lwanyonvi. There was nothing special about these two, neither of them clinched any medal in the competition. They said, “This is the first time that we sat in such good boats and got better equipments.” According to Kelvin, Kenya government does not show any support to the water sports, instead they spend huge money in athletics and other sports like football and rugby.