The 2010 World Champion and current world No.3 had struggled to show his full potential during the preliminary rounds, but delivered a superb performance in the final to claim gold in 93.43 seconds. MOLMENTI matched the performance of his compatriot Pierpaolo FERRAZZI (ITA), who won gold in Men’s K1 at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games.
Molmenti wins Olympic gold to celebrate birthday
"I finished my job. I'm so excited I've lost my voice. I've won everything in my sport. I'm the first K1 man to do this and I'm pretty proud.
“I knew that on paper that if I didn't make any mistakes it would be very hard to beat me because technically I have grown a lot from Beijing 2008 and physically I am a better athlete.
'The second part of the course was really hard and when the others were switching off, I could go faster and I did it.”
The Czech Republic’s Vavrinec HRADILEK (CZE) took silver, by 1.35 seconds. HRADILEK improved from his 11th place in Beijing 2008 to finish second, winning the Czech Republic's first ever medal in Men’s K1 event and the first medal for the Czech Republic at London 2012. After receiving his medal HRADILEK said:
"The run was first-rate. I didn't know what to expect for the final. I felt a little tired before. I still don't feel like I got silver, it will take time. My previous runs were 100%. This is a perfect venue and a perfect ride.
"I didn't realise we have no medals (so far in London 2012) so I did not put any pressure on myself. I hope to be an inspiration for other Czech athletes."
World Champion Kauzer undone by early penalty
Double World Champion Peter KAUZER (SLO), who has won every major title in Men’s Kayak slalom except an Olympic medal, failed to win a medal once again but after having been knocked out in the semifinal in Beijing 2008, 7th place finish at this Olympic Games has some positives.
Despite winning the semifinal, an early penalty on the upper part of the course was the undoing of the Slovenian. Asked what his thoughts were of his performance at the final, KAUZER said:
"Hey, you win some, you lose some.
"After I hit gate three, the water seemed to change, the poles seemed lower than normal and I couldn't put my boat where I normally do.
"After the touches, the Olympic dream was over for me, but I fought till the end."
Aigner is the second German to medal at Slalom competition
Hannes AIGNER (GER), bronze medallist at this year's European championship, looked well placed to retain the title for Germany after the early stages, but had to settle for the bronze with 94.92 seconds. AIGNER who secured his place at the Olympic Games after outperforming Beijing gold medallist Alexander GRIMM said:
"I'm very happy, glad that it's over. There was lots of tension, and it's over and I'm satisfied.
"I've always dreamed of getting an Olympic medal.
"I've been working very hard to have this result at the Olympics and I'm now happy to relax."
The 2011 world silver medallist Mateusz POLACZYK (POL) was strong in the semifinal but a few mistakes in the final left him just off the podium in fourth.
Samuel HERNANZ (ESP), the silver medallist at last year's European Championship, was hoping to deliver Spain's first Olympic medal in Canoe Slalom, but could manage only fifth in 96.95 seconds.
Tomorrow’s competition begins at 13h30 and the Men’s C2 and Women’s K1 medallists will be decided. The first competition will be the Men’s C2 semifinal.
For all results visit (allow 5-10 seconds load time): http://www.sportscene.tv/whitewater/canoe-slalom/result-archive/2012-london-olympic-games