Tokyo Olympics canoe/kayak in review: Carrington paces paddlers, U.S. tallies first

Posted at 11:53 AM, Aug 04, 2021

Weather at the Kasai Slalom Center next to Tokyo Bay made conditions difficult at times for canoe/kayak competitors at the Tokyo Games.

Baking sun some days turned the course into “bath water,” one competitor said. Blustery weather other days caused gate poles to sway, making the course difficult to navigate.

Still, some competitors were able to dominate the course, while others made history.

Canoe/kayak queen Carrington wins three golds in four events for New Zealand


Woman's Canoe Sprint Singles 200m
Gold: Lisa Carrington, NZL
Silver: Teresa Portela, ESP
Bronze: Emma Jorgensen, DEN

Woman's Canoe Sprint Doubles 500m
Gold: New Zealand
Silver: Poland
Bronze: Hungary

Woman's Kayak Sprint Singles 500m
Gold: Lisa Carrington, NZL
Silver: Tamara Csipes, HUN
Bronze: Emma Jorgensen, DEN

Women’s Kayak Sprint Fours 500m
Gold: Hungary
Silver: Belarus
Bronze: Poland

Lisa Carrington became New Zealand's most successful Olympian by winning gold in the women's kayak singles 500 meters event at Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo to take her overall Games medals tally to six.

Carrington, 32 won her third successive Games gold in women's kayak singles 200m on Tuesday before partnering with Caitlin Regal to take the kayak doubles 500m title.

Victory meant Carrington passed fellow kayakers Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald and equestrian athlete Mark Todd, who all have five Olympic medals for New Zealand.

"It's really special. For me, it's something I never thought I'd be able to do. It's amazing," Carrington said. “When you set out to do something, it's such a huge task. It's super scary to think it's possible, so I did the best I could, trained incredibly hard, worked hard. It's just amazing to be able to pull it off."

Carrington was unsuccessful in her quest to become the first athlete to win four canoe sprint medals at a single Games. She and teammates Regal, Alicia Hoskin and Teneale Hatton finished fourth in the women's kayak sprint fours 500m. The quartet of Danuta Kozak, Tamara Csipes, Anna Karasz and Dora Bodonyi excelled in wet, windy conditions to help Hungary retain their kayak sprint fours 500m title. Belarus claimed silver and Poland bronze.

SEE MORE: Lisa Carrington wins her third Tokyo gold medal

Funk spoils Fox’s bid for kayak slalom gold; Fox rebounds for canoe gold

Women's Kayak Slalom
Ricarda Funk, GER
Maialen Chourraut, ESP
Jessica Fox, AUS

Germany's Ricarda Funk ended Australian Jessica Fox's bid to win two canoeing golds at the Tokyo Olympics by taking the women's kayak slalom.

It was Funk's first major title since winning the European championship in 2018 and the first time a German paddler has won the women's kayak slalom event since Barcelona in 1992.

Fox earned an early two-second penalty from a gate pole strike and a second hit further down the course en route to the bronze.

Veteran Spanish kayaker and 2016 Olympic champion Maialen Chourraut took the silver in her fourth consecutive Olympics.

Women's canoe slalom
Gold: Jessica Fox, AUS
Silver: Mallory Franklin, GBR
Bronze: Andrea Herzog, GER

Twenty minutes before Australia's Fox became the first-ever women's canoe slalom champion she threw up. The four-time world champion was so nervous about failing in her latest bid to win Olympic gold.

Earlier in the Games, Fox’s dream of winning gold in both the canoe and kayak slaloms ended with a bronze to add to the one she won in Rio in 2016 and her silver in London four years earlier.

"To come back after that was extremely hard emotionally. I think I relived my kayak race a million times in my head," she said. "Probably never been as nervous as I was today."

Fox became the only paddler to have won Olympic medals in both the canoe and kayak slaloms.

Mallory Franklin became only the second British woman to win a canoe slalom medal. Andrea Herzog's medal put Germany on the podium in the first three slalom events of the Games in Tokyo.

SEE MORE: Australian Jess Fox wins inaugural women's canoe slalom gold

Harrison wins canoe debut; Hungary's Totka 'fastest man on water'

Women’s Canoe Sprint Singles 200m
Gold: Nevin Harrison, USA
Silver: Laurence Vincent-Lapointe, CAN
Bronze: Liudmyla Luzan, UKR

American Nevin Harrison was overcome with emotion after she became the first winner of the women's canoe single 200m at the Games. The 19-year-old world champion's time of 45.932 helped her edge out Laurence Vincent-Lapointe of Canada and Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan.

Women's canoe racing made its debut in Tokyo 2020.

"I'm definitely still in a dream,” Harrison said. “This is crazy, I'm speechless. It's the perfect thing I could have asked for."

Men’s Kayak Sprint Singles 200m
Gold: Sandor Totka, HUN
Silver: Manfredi Rizza, ITA
Bronze: Liam Heath, GBR

In the men's kayak single 200m, Hungary's Sandor Totka won the gold medal in 35.035 seconds, ahead of Italy's Manfredi Rizza. Liam Heath, Britain's Rio champion, took bronze.

"It was pretty hard," Totka said. “But everything pays off and I'm so happy I'm the fastest man on water.”

This discipline won't make an appearance at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Men’s Kayak slalom world champion Prskavek wins Olympic gold

Gold: Jiri Prskavek, CZE
Silver: Jakub Grigar. SVK
Bronze: Hannes Aigner, GER

World champion and 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Jiri Prskavek of the Czech Republic won Olympic gold in the men's single kayak slalom.

The last of 10 finalists to come down the whitewater course, the reigning world champion shaved more than three seconds off the time set by Slovakia's Jakub Grigar, who took the silver.

Grigar has never won a major singles title and is the world No. 14 after performing poorly since Rio.

German Haynes Aigner won the bronze, a repeat of his medal performance in London in 2012.

SEE MORE: Czech Republic's Prskavec goes wild after kayak slalom gold

Slovenia’s Savsek dominates men’s canoe slalom

Benjamin Savsek, SLO
Lukas Rohan, CZE
Sideris Tasiadis, GER

Benjamin Savsek won Slovenia's first gold medal in the men's canoe slalom after barreling down the whitewater course in Tokyo almost four seconds ahead of his nearest rival.

Lukas Rohan from the Czech Republic took silver with Germany's Sideris Tasiadis, who finished runner-up in 2012, winning bronze.

Savsek paddled through the difficult course in 98.25 seconds, making him the only finalists to complete the course in under 100 seconds.

"It's a nice step up from world champion to Olympic champion. I am really proud to achieve this," Savsek said.

Cuba wins men’s doubles canoe sprint; Hungary dominates men’s 1000m kayak

Men's Canoe Doubles 100m
Gold: Cuba
Silver: China
Bronze: Germany

The Cuban pair of Serguey Torres and Fernando Jorge started slowly but produced a strong finish for an Olympic best time of 3:24.995 seconds en route to gold in the men's canoe double 1000m competition.

China's Liu Hao and Zheng Pengfei set the pace in the heats on Monday, took silver ahead of Germany's Sebastian Brendel and Tim Hecker who had dominated the semi-final.

Men's Kayak Singles, 1000m
Gold: Balint Kopasz, HUN
Silver: Adam Varga, HUN
Bronze:  Fernando Pimenta, POR

Hungary's Balint Kopasz trailed Portugal's Fernando Pimenta for much of the men's kayak single 1000m final, before powering to victory with an Olympic best time of 3: 20.643, ahead of his compatriot Adam Varga.

"My coach told me this was going to be a good year and I pictured getting a gold against strong opponents, so this is a nice feeling," world champion Kopasz said.

Pimenta, who set an Olympic best time in the semifinals, ended up third.

SEE MORE: Hungary wins gold and silver in 1000m kayak race

Brazil’s Queiroz dos Santos wins men's canoe singles 1000m

Brazil’s Queiroz dos Santos wins men's canoe singles 1000m


Gold: Isaquias Queiroz dos Santos, BRA
Silver: Liu Hao, CHN
Serghei Tarnovschi, MDA

Brazil's Isaquias Queiroz dos Santos dominated the Olympic men's canoe single 1000-meter event to win the final individual canoe/kayak gold medal at the Tokyo Games.

Queiroz dos Santos, 27, the silver medalist in Rio, finished with a time of 4:04.408, ahead of China's Liu Hao and Moldova's Serghei Tarnovschi,

Defending champion Sebastian Brendel's bid to become the first man to win a record three Games golds in the event ended when he did not qualify for the final.

Few athletes in Tokyo will have had as tough a childhood as Queiroz dos Santos.

At the age of three, Queiroz dos Santos spent more than a month recovering in hospital after a pot of boiling water fell on him leaving significant burns on his body, according to his bio on the International Canoe Federation website.

Two years later he was kidnapped and offered up for adoption before being returned to his mother unharmed. At the age of 10, he fell out of a tree while trying to catch a snake and damaged a kidney so badly it had to be removed.

Asked about overcoming his difficult childhood, Queiroz dos Santos said those experiences had shaped him.

"That is how I reached here," Queiroz dos Santos, who won two silver medals and a bronze at the Rio Olympics. "I am not special for being here. I just tried and always believed myself."

SEE MORE: Queiroz finally gets gold with C–1 1000m victory

Germans win men's kayak fours 500m; China takes women's canoe doubles 500m


Gold: Germany
Silver: Spain
Bronze: Slovenia

The German team of Max Rendschmidt, Ronald Rauhe, Tom Liebscher and Max Lemke won gold in the men's kayak fours 500m, finishing ahead of Spain and Slovakia.

With the victory, Rauhe, 39, became the first man to win a canoe sprint medal in five different Games.


Gold: China
Silver: Ukraine
Bronze: Canada

China's Xu Shixiao and Sun Mengya became the first Olympic champions in women's canoe doubles 500m, which made its Olympic debut in Tokyo.

The world champions finished ahead of Ukraine's Liudmyla Luzan and Anastasiia Chetverikova.  Canada's Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Katie Vincent took bronze.

SEE MORE: Capsized kayak leaves sprinter splashing at starting line