Gold standard is in our nature at the Canoe Marathon World Championships

Marathon is a classic long distance discipline, not only in canoeing but also in event management. Throughout this week, gold medals and green surroundings have gone hand in hand in Denmark, where the Canoe Marathon World Championships were held with great success and a special focus on green transition.

World champions in canoe marathon have been awarded gold medals in the past week in beautiful green surroundings at Lake Jels. The preparations for the championship have also been a marathon, as work has been done on a sustainable event setup from the allocation in 2019 until today. Both the Danish Canoe Federation, Vejen Municipality, Sport Event Denmark, and SportsCenter Denmark have been on board and are now looking back at a World Championship where gold standard has been in our nature.

“I am proud, happy, and grateful! Proud of a World Championship that ran smoothly in every way and the many impressive Danish results. Happy about the numerous side activities and school visits. A special thanks goes out to the citizens of Jels and the local rowing club for their exceptionally warm welcome for such a large event as the World Championship. Along with our financial partners Vejen Municipality, Sport Event Denmark, and SportsCenter Denmark, we have received many international accolades for our hosting and especially for our particular focus on sustainable execution,” says Tom Faurschou, chairman of the Danish Canoe Federation.

The 2023 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships is one of the championships organized by the international federation.

ICF President Thomas Konietzko congratulates the Danish organizers on the successful World Championship:

“It’s wonderful to have the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships held in Denmark, a country with a strong and rich history in canoe marathon. The beautiful landscape of Vejen is perfect for showcasing this sport, and connect with its natural settings. The competition was a great spectacle, with fantastic coverage, and I’ve heard many compliments from athletes on the running of the event.

The Danish values on sustainability are aligned with our own, and the responsibility we place upon ourselves representing a sport dependent on nature. The efforts made by the organisers are hugely appreciated by the International Canoe Federation, as we continue to develop and strive for carbon-neutral events.

I’d like to thank the Danish Canoe Federation, Sport Event Denmark, and the Vejen municipality for hosting such a great event, and we look forward to holding further canoeing events in the country.”

Satisfaction with the just-concluded World Championship is also evident among the partners.

Sport Event Denmark

“It has been a great week for us at the office. The ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships took place at Lake Jels. UCI trials were held during the Urban Sports Festival in Aarhus. Both events had their unique characteristics. What they had in common was a strong focus on sustainable execution. Event work is not a sprint but a marathon, and the same applies when we talk about green transition, as this week’s international events have demonstrated,” said Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark.

Vejen Municipality

“To be hosting an event like this is great. We are very proud to be able to attract a world championship, and the surroundings at Jels Sø, does make an absolutely perfect scene.

We’ve done everything possible to make sure the conditions are at its best for both the athletes, the audience and the volunteers, and I would like to give a big thanks to Kano- og Kajakforbundet, Sport Event Denmark, ICF, Trekantområdet Danmark, Vejen Idrætscenter and Thorhallen for a very good cooperation.  With that said, then it’s also amazing to experience how everybody in Jels have been joining in on this event, and how all the volunteers pays a big part in getting everything to just work.  We’ve been getting a lot of useful experience from this, and I do believe that we here in Vejen will be able to host other big event such as this in the time to come,” said the Mayor, Frank Schmidt-Hansen

SportsCenter Denmark

“Being a host and part of a large international sports event is always a great honor for Sportscenter Denmark. It means a lot to us that we can showcase one of Denmark’s largest and most flexible sports facilities. We are a center with over 2000 events and 1 million visitors every year. We are truly proud to have been chosen as the World Championship host this time, and we always do our best for the organizer and each individual athlete,” said Jakob Sander, CEO of SportsCenter Denmark.


Green Initiatives: Reduced plastic consumption, recycling, and waste sorting in a holistic approach to sustainability.

Nations: 33

Participants: 400+ masters, 400+ elite, and 25 para-athletes

Volunteers: 250

School visits: 11 schools with 650+ students

Estimated spectators during the week: 5000