Chris Sze won one of Britain’s two medals at the Masters Canoe Marathon World Championships and helped transport the team’s 28 boats to Romania and back.
The Bishop’s Stortford Canoe Club member won the silver medal when he teamed up with South African paddler Colin Simpkins in the men’s 60-64 doubles kayak race at Bascov.
And he was one of two pilots tasked with transporting the 28 GB squad boats a total of 3,500 miles across Europe and back to watch the competition.
Sze is a longtime paddler who started kayaking in Hong Kong at the age of 15. He coached the Hong Kong team at the first World Marathon Championships, held in Nottingham in 1988.
After retiring to Hong Kong, he moved to join his family at Bishop’s Stortford in 2015 and now paddles for the BSCC in Division Four.
He strongly believes in active aging and his philosophy is “to add life to years, but not to add years to life”.
Sze won his silver medal with Simpkins on Day 2 of the event, covering the 19 km course, with four portages, in 1 h 34 min 38 sec, just 28 seconds behind the winners. He also competed the day before in the singles event, finishing 10th in 1: 52.47 over 15.4 km.
The Masters Championships, for competitors over the age of 35, are held every year alongside the main World Championships for junior and senior competitors, with both prestigious competitions being organized by the International Canoe Federation.
Over 120 master athletes representing 29 countries participated, running in single and double kayaks and canoes over varying distances depending on age, gender and type of boat.
The four masters representing Great Britain included Sze’s teammate at Stortford, Gordon Bullock, who teamed with compatriot Bryn Price in the men’s 65-69 K2 category over 15.4km, clocking a time of 1:26, 07 for fourth place. Bullock was also fourth in the K1 65-69 men in 1: 29.52 over 15.4 km.
Britain’s fourth squad member Chris Tatam took home the country’s other masters medal by winning gold in the men’s 70-74 K1 in 1: 26.33.