Romania’s two-man canoe team (Liviu Alexandru Dumitrescu and Victor Mihalachi-photo) won gold in the 500-meter race at the European Senior Canoe Sprint Championships in Belgrade, defeating Azerbaijan at a difference of just 0.048 seconds. This is the 5th medal Romania wins at these championships, after the medals it won on Saturday in the 1,000-meter race (silver medal in one-man canoe event, bronze in two-man canoe event and bronze in 4-man kayak event) and the 200-meter race (gold in one-man kayak event).
Romania won three medals on Saturday. Iosif Chirila won silver in the one-man canoe event, Liviu Alexandru Dumitrescu and Victor Mihalachi won bronze in the two-man canoe event, while the kayak team won bronze, the competition’s official website informs.
Racing on lane 7, Iosif Chirila finished the 1,000-meter race in 3 minutes and 49.6 seconds. Germany’s Sebastian Brendel won the race, followed by Iosif Chirila (+02.490 seconds) and Spain’s Jose Luis Bouza Pregal (+02.910 seconds).
“My goal was to finish in the top 6 in order to qualify for the one-man canoe event at the Olympics. At the end of the qualifying heats I had the third-best time and that gave me a bit of confidence. Anyway, there is no comparison between the qualifying heats and the final. I had a forceful start, I saw that it works and I kept going. I thought I had finished third but in the end I came on second place and I’m very happy,” Chirila stated for Agerpres after the race.
Victor Mihalachi and Alexandru Dumitrescu finished the two-man canoe 1,000-meter race on third place. The race was won by Russia, followed by Belarus.
Romania’s 4-man kayak team finished the 1,000-meter race on 4th place. Mihail Simion, Nicolae Bogdan, Silviu Simioncencu and Catalin Costache finished the race 01.746 seconds behind race winners Marton Toth, Matyas Safran, Mihaly Safran and Robert Mike (Hungary).
Also on Saturday, Iulian Serban won gold in the K1 200-meter race. Iulian Serban (26) lost his right leg in a train accident 5 years ago. He will take part in the Paralympic Games in 2016.