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Canoe Sprint Races

In the sport of Canoe Sprint, athletes paddle a canoe along a flat course over distances between 200m and 5,000m. There are also sprint kayak events. Canoe events differ kayaking in that canoeist have only a single blade oar. The athlete also often kneels facing forward in the canoe.

In the standard kneeling position, called the striding position, one knee is on the deck and the other foot forward allowing an open stance to pull the paddle down through the water on their preferred side of the canoe.

kneeling canoe technique kneeling sprint canoe technique

Sprint canoe races are held on flat water with competitors assigned to lanes, and the course is a straight line. Races are over distances of 200m, 500m, 1000m and 5000m. Competitors can be in single, double or quadruple boats (C1, C2 and C4). The aim is to get to the finish line as fast as possible, the quickest time wins.

Sprint kayak events have been contested at the Olympics since 1936. At the Olympics, races are only over distances between 200 and 1000m, and only in C1 and C2 canoes.

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