Elena Lilik (born Elena Apel on September 14, 1998 in Weimar) is a German canoeist who competes in canoe slalom in a single kayak and single canoe.
Elena Lilik is the eldest daughter of Thomas Apel (national kayak trainer for slalom canoeists) and Daniela Apel (former handball player). Her younger sister Emily is a member of the slalom canoeing junior team. As a child, Lilik first started playing handball, but gave up this sport at the age of four and a half after she and her family had moved from Jena to Augsburg. She came to the canoe slalom through her father and has been running it since 2006 with Kanu Schwaben Augsburg. In 2014 she qualified for the C1 junior national team for the first time. Lilik has been a member of the German Armed Forces since 2017 and started for the A-Team for the first time in 2018. Since 2019 she has been part of the national team in both C1 and K1 disciplines. She has been trained by her father Thomas Apel since 2020, and at the Canoe Slalom World Cup in Pau, France, in September 2021, she won her first World Cup medal in the Canadier (C1) with the bronze medal and thus secured third place in the overall C1 World Cup. In the kayak (K1) discipline, she is fourth overall in 2021, and she won medals in both kayaks and canoes at the 2021 World Championships in Bratislava. In the relatively new discipline extreme slalom (K1 extreme), a head-to-head race between four boats starting at the same time, she only had to admit defeat to Australian Jessica Fox and won the silver medal. Elena Lilik had never competed in a race like this before and did her first training sessions in Bratislava just before the competitions.
Elena Lilik won medals at the following European and World Championships:
K1 extreme, 2021 in Bratislava: silver medal
C1, 2021 in Bratislava: gold medal
K1, 2021 in Bratislava: silver medal
C1, 2021 in Ivrea: bronze medal
C1 team, 2019 in Pau: silver medal
K1 team, 2019 in Pau: silver medal
K1, 2018 in Prague: bronze medal
U23 world championships
C1, 2021 in Tacen: bronze medal
K1, 2021 in Tacen: bronze medal
U23 European Championships
C1, 2020 in Krakow: gold medal
K1 team, 2020 in Krakow: silver medal
C1 team, 2020 in Krakow: silver medal
K1, 2020 in Krakow: gold medal
Junior World Championships
K1 team, 2015 in Foz do Iguaçu: silver medal
Junior European Championships
C1 team, 2014 in Skopje: silver medal
Elena Apel married the ice hockey player Leon Lilik in August 2021. At the championships in September 2021, however, she started under her maiden name Elena Apel, because her passport was not ready on time.
German Canoe Association
Final | Elena Apel | World Championships Bratislava | Slalom extreme | Boatercross. (video) Youtube, accessed on September 26, 2021.