Tony ESTANGUET (FRA) claimed a historic third gold medal in the Men’s C1 event at the Lee Valley White Water Centre on Tuesday. ESTANGUET, who was also Olympic champion at Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, regained the title from his long-time rival and double Olympic gold medallist Michal MARTIKAN (SVK) who had won the event at Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008.
In a superb final run, that saw the Frenchman finish in 97.06 seconds, 1.03 seconds ahead of the 2012 European Champion Sideris TASIADIS (GER), who took silver.
It's a really special moment for me and was a big fight for me to return after Beijing with my ninth place, I am really satisfied because this water is very fast, it's like a dream
Estanguet has ruled out competing at Rio 2016 after clinching his third gold medal; he was pleased to be back on top of the podium again after finishing ninth at Beijing 2008.
TASIADIS showed he was capable of producing an outstanding performance after posting the fastest time in the semifinal. Last to start the final, he finished in front of MARTIKAN by 0.22. TASIADIS said:
"It's crazy. When I entered the Olympics, I did not expect to win a medal. I was not confident. It is a surprise medal. I was so nervous, but I am very pleased. The gates were difficult. At the first three, I was so nervous, but then I went on in the race and I finished well."
MARTIKAN earned a fifth Olympic medal after winning gold in Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008 and silver in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004. On winning bronze MARTIKAN said:
"Although it's my fifth medal in five Olympic Games, I'm a bit disappointed. It wasn't a difficult course, although the water in some places made it difficult.
“The configuration of the gates was good. I'm just disappointed because I couldn't go faster. I don't know how I will celebrate."
World No.1 and a silver medallist in Beijing 2008, David FLORENCE (GBR) failed to live up to his home crowd's expectations and was knocked out in the semifinal earlier in the day. He will now concentrate on the Men’s C2 event semifinal on Thursday. After failing to qualify for the final FLORENCE said: "I am very disappointed. I just didn't go well enough. It was the race I wanted to do well in. and had trained for over the past four years. and I failed to do so. It's very frustrating.”
FLORENCE who will get another shot at a medal in Thursday’s semifinal said: "I have competed in lots of races over the past four years. Sometimes there is just an hour between races. This time I have two days.
"I have no intention of bringing in any negativity into that next race. I am determined to perform to my best. Over the past four years, I have come first, second, 10th and 25th. Canoe Slalom is an up and down sport and today I was just not good enough.”
Heartbreakingly, Ander ELOSEGI (ESP) could not improve on his fourth place finish from Beijing 2008 and will have to wait another four years to deliver Spain's first Olympic medal in Canoe Slalom.
Stanislav JEZEK (CZE) also repeated his fifth place from Beijing 2008. Kynan MAYLEY (AUS) will be pleased with his performance, reaching a final on his debut at the Olympic Games and finishing sixth in 107.08. Takuya HANEDA (JPN) raised his hopes of winning Japan's first medal in Canoe Slalom after qualifying in third place in the heats, but some serious mistakes in the final pushed him far from the medals table in seventh.
Bejamin SAVSEK (SLO), bronze medallist in the 2012 European championship, was the second fastest after the semifinals but received a 108-seconds penalty in the final, forcing him into eighth place.
Tomorrow’s competition begins at 13h30 and the Men’s K1 medallists will be decided when the day kicks off with the semifinal.
For all results visit (allow 5-10 seconds load time): http://www.sportscene.tv/whitewater/canoe-slalom/result-archive/2012-london-olympic-games