Team USA’s Eichfeld, McEwan, Nee seek gold in canoe/kayak slalom final

Olympic canoe/kayak slalom: Day 6 preview

Casey Eichfeld and Devin McEwan at the Rio Olympics

Whitewater Stadium plays host to the men’s canoe double and women’s kayak single slalom semifinal and final.

Men’s canoe double

Germany’s Franz Anton and Jan Benzien, the gold medal favorites, finished fifth overall in the heats, Jonas Kaspar and Mark Sindler of the Czech Republic, who are favorites to win the silver medal, finished fourth. The bronze medal favorites, Americans Casey Eichfeld and Devin McEwan, finished 10th overall.

What do all three pairs have in common?

They all didn’t finish in the top three.

The top-three finishers of the men’s C2 heats are not projected medal contenders: After both heats, Slovakia’s Ladislav Skantar and Peter Skantar finished first overall, France’s Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche took second, and Great Britain’s David Florence and Richard Hounslow, who won silver at the London Games, finished third overall.

Look for all these teams to turn up the competition on Thursday, however.

The men’s C2 is very much unpredictable and it’s anyone’s game at this point.

Women’s kayak single

The top medal contenders in the women’s K1 are still in the running.

Australia’s Jessica Fox, the gold medal favorite and the number one ranked slalom kayaker in the world, finished second overall in the heats.

Silver medal favorite, Maialen Chourrant of Spain, missed a gate in the first run of her heat – which tacked on a 50-second penaltly – but picked herself up in the second run and finished 11th overall.

Germany’s Melanie Pfiefer, the bronze medal favorite, finished 14th overall.

Out of the 21 women that entered the heats, only 15 advanced to Thursday’s semifinal, then the field will be narrowed to 10 in the final.

Notable contenders to look out for in the semifinal include: Italy’s Stefanie Horn, who claimed the top spot in the heats and Great Britain’s Fionna Pennie, who finished third overall.

Don’t rule out, Luuka Jones of New Zealand and American Ashley Nee, both have the ability to turn it up and come out on top.

Don’t miss the live stream of the men’s C2 and women’s K1 semifinal and final in canoe/kayak slalom on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Olympics app beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT.

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