Another bluebird day on the waters of Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon set the scene for Olympic Day 13 of the canoe/kayak sprint finals.
Four different classes raced on Thursday to crown Olympic champions.
New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington and Brazil’s Isaquias Queiroz both headed into these races with Olympic hardware from Tuesday’s final.
Carrington won gold in the women’s K1 200-meter and Queiroz won silver in the men’s C2 1000m.
Men’s Kayak Double 1000m
An 8 a.m. ET on Thursday, Max Rendschmidt and Marcus Gross took the starting line to continue their dominance in the K2 1000m, and they did just that. The defending world champions are now Olympic champions.
Rendschmidt and Gross of Germany were half a boat’s length ahead of the pack at the half way point. At the final 250m mark, they were a full boat’s length ahead of Serbia’s Marko Tomicevic and Milenko Zoric, who are both medal contenders. As the Serbians began closing in in the final 50m, the Germans shut them down and held on to the lead.
This is Rendschmidt’s first Olympic Games and first Olympic medal. Gross finished fourth in the men’s K4 1000m at the 2012 Games.
Germany has now eight medals in this event – more than any other country.
In the end, Serbia won silver and Australia, who finished second at the last two world championships, won bronze.
Friendly chit-chat between Australia’s Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame and Germany made the job of the journalists in the post-race news conference of the men’s K1 1000m race pretty easy.
According to the Associated Press, when the moderator opened up the floor for questions, Wallace took the microphone, with a question for the German gold medalists.
“How did you go so fast in the third 250 meters?” said Wallace, who got bronze in the event with Lachlan Tame. “You blew us away.”
“We know you have a great finish so we tried to escape,” replied German paddler Marcus Gross.
“By the way it’s a nice pink boat they have,” Wallace said of the Germans.
“It’s cool,” said Gross, asking the Australians which color they would prefer if they could choose.
“I think a red one would be nice,” Wallace said.
As the conversation continued, the six medalists realized that all of them except Tame would race the next day in the four-man 1,000 meter kayak event.
“Have a beer for us,” Wallace told his teammate.
Men’s Canoe Single 200m
Iurii Cheban raised both hands in celebration as the crowd cheered; he is now Olympic champion in the men’s C1 200m.
Cheban of Ukraine not only won gold, he now holds the Olympic record with 39.279 seconds. He beat the previous Olympic record from the 2012 London Games held by Russia’s Ivan Shtyl.
In fact, all eight Final A competitors beat Shtyl’s previous record of 40.346.
After a thrilling finish – which left two men in the water – heads immediately raised to look at the finishing times.
Azerbaijan’s Valentin Demyanenko ended up finishing in 39.493 and won silver, while Brazil’s Isaquias Queiroz, who had a disappointing start, fought back finishing in 39.628 which awarded him bronze.
Men’s Kayak Double 200m
Cristian Toro wiped tears from his cheek after being draped with his gold medal, Toro and teammate Saul Craviotto won Spain an Olympic gold medal in the K2 200m event.
Craviotto has a gold and silver medal from previous Olympics, while Toro wins his first Olympic medal at his first Olympic Games.
The field was wide-open heading into the K2 200m final.
Germany, Serbia, Hungary, France, Great Britain, Spain, Lithuania and Canada all had their eyes set on gold.
Spain took the top spot, Great Britain’s Jon Schofield and Liam Heath won silver and Lithuania’s Aurimas Lankas and Edvinas Ramanauskas took home bronze – the second-ever canoeing medal for Lithuania.
Schofield and Heath teamed up to win a bronze in this event in London, making them the only duo to ever repeat as medalists in this event, as it was introduced at the 2012 Olympics.
Women’s Kayak Single 500m
Danuta Kozak closed her eyes, took a deep breath and exhaled atop of the podium. The reigning Olympic champion has successfully defended her crown in the women’s K1 500m.
Kozak of Hungary had also won gold on Tuesday in the women’s kayak double 500m event in Rio.
Emma Jorgenson won silver; the 20-year-old won Denmark their 10th medal across all sports in Rio. This is her first Olympic Games.
Lisa Carrington of New Zealand won bronze, this is her second medal of the Games, she won gold on Tuesday in the K1 200m.
Team USA’s Maggie Hogan did not advance past her heat.