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Peter KRETSCHMER/Kurt KUSCHELA (GER) extended Germany’s lead on the medals table when they won the Men's C2 1000m final and in the Women’s K2 500m Germany’s and Franziska WEBER/Tina DIETZE (GER) denied Katalin KOVACS/Natasa DOUCHEV-JANICS (HUN) their third consecutive gold medal. History continues to be made at Eton Dorney as Australia and South Africa both won medals on the second day of finals.
Men's C2 1000m
Today’s competition kicked off with the Men’s C2 1000m where the 2011 World Championship silver medallists Sergiy BEZUGLIY/Maksim PROKOPENKO (AZE) had the best start on the field holding a boat-length's lead over KRETSCHMER/KUSCHELA who would later make a strong comeback to claim the gold medal. "It's a great day today, we had good tactics,” said KUSCHELA. “The last 300 metres, I looked left and right and saw that we were winning."
Beijing 2008 gold medallists Andrei BAHDANOVICH/Aliaksandr BAHDANOVICH (BLR) followed the German pair in the sprint and took the silver medal while the Russians Alexey KOROVASHKOV/Ilya PERVUKHIN denied Azerbaijan a well fought for bronze medal on the finish line.
Men's K4 1000m
Twenty years after winning the bronze medal at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games, their only previous medal in the Men’s K4 1000m, Australia took gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
We had our best race, we knew we would be right up there and it was just awesome from the start,” said Tate SMITH (AUS) member of Australia’s winning crew. “We just dug deep and brought it home. It was just perfect.
The silver medalists from the 2011 World Championships had the perfect race strategy; the crew jumped out in front of the field and continued to capitalize on their gains towards the finish line.
The Hungarian crew, having won gold at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, put in a spurt to chase down the Australians. Failing to reach them they settle for the silver medal.
The Slovakians, silver medallists at Beijing 2008, were always in contention for a medal during the entire race but a last effort from the Czech Republic denied them the third place on the podium.
Women's K1 500m
Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Inna OSYPENKO-RADOMSKA (UKR) was fast off the blocks and got half a boat length clear from the rest of the pack before she was reined in by Danuta KOZAK (HUN) who was never too far off the veteran paddler. Taking the lead by the 250 metres mark, KOZAK snatched gold, leaving OSYPENKO-RADOMSKA with silver.
"I really cannot believe it. It was such a good race,” said KOZAK. “I really didn't even see the others, just went as fast as I could. And at the finish line I looked around and nobody was around me. That feeling was incredible."
Bridgitte HARTLEY (RSA) has come of age. The 29 year old showed a new depth to her talent during the preliminary rounds and delivered another superb performance today to win bronze in a tight finish with 4th placed Sofia PALDANIUS (SWE). It was South Africa and Africa’s first ever medal in Canoe Sprint.
Josefa IDEM (ITA), the Sydney 2000 Olympic champion who is competing in her eighth Olympics, finished fifth. "For me, it is always unbelievable when I go to the start line," said IDEM. "This is my seventh final in K1 at the Olympics, and I was very, very full of energy in this Olympic Games."
Women's K2 500m
Franziska WEBER/Tina DIETZE (GER) denied Katalin KOVACS/Natasa DOUCHEV-JANICS (HUN) their third consecutive Olympic gold medal in the Women’s K2 500m.
WEBER (GER) said of winning gold after their bronze in Wednesday's Women’s K4 500m: "At the moment, it hasn't sunk in, we cannot describe it. We want to lock ourselves away for two weeks and soak it in. There's nothing better than a gold medal."
WEBER/DIETZE (GER) took the lead in the first strokes, and kept the pace going, leaving the chase to KOVACS/DOUCHEV-JANICS (HUN). The Hungarians never managed to close the gap, allowing the Germans a comfortable win in 1minute and 42.213 seconds. A disappointed KOVACS said, "I felt that we couldn't get out everything that was in us. So it was a good race, but if we do a similar one in training, we go back, and paddle again."
Despite a late sprint from China, the Polish duo Beata MIKOLAJCZYK/Karolina NAJA secured the bronze medal, 1.787 seconds behind the winners.
Tomorrow’s competition begins at 09h30 with Men’s K1 200m heats.
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