International Canoe Federation Media Release

No: beijing0818

22 August 2008

Flatwater racing Day Five Finals report and photographs

Beijing - Six Olympic champions were crowned before packed grandstands on a clear sunny day that offered ideal racing conditions, reflected in very fast times and thrilling racing for the Olympic medals. Belarus enjoyed two gold medals, while a number of world champions won Olympic gold medals.

In the men's 1000m final British world champ Tim Brabants dominated the medal decider from the start. He was closely tailed over the first half of the race by Canadian 500m Olympic champion Adam van Koeverden. However when Brabants kicked with 250 metres to go, van Koeverden faded badly as the defending Olympic champion Eirik Veraas Larsen came storming into contention, with the Australian rising star Ken Wallace surging home strongly in lane three to snatch the bronze medal.

"It's incredible, absolutely incredible," said Brabants. "The race went one hundred percent to plan. When you realise you've crossed the line first

It just didn't happen," said Van Koeverden afterwards. The feeling of getting passed by six guys I never get passed by is the most devastating. I didn't burn out. I'm not exhausted. I've been sleeping well.  have absolutely no excuse," he added.

The men's C1 final saw Uzbekistan strongman Vadim Menkov put in a concerted early charge that saw him lead by more than a boat-length at the halfway point. However his gutsy strategy backfired as he was gradually reeled in by defending Olympic champion David Cal of Spain, who bounced back from a bad start, and the charging Hungarian world champion Attila Vajda.

It was Vadja who had the energy when it needed most and he kicked powerfully with 150 metres to go to set up the gold medal victory, with Cal taking silver, and the strong-finishing Canadian Thomas Hall grabbing the last medal from the flagging Menkov.

 "I am very happy," said Vajda. "It's very hard to finds the words now. it was very hard but in the last 50 metres I felt I'd won the gold."

Vajda immediately dedicated his gold medal - Hungary's first gold medal at the Beijing Games - to the memory of two-times Olympic champion Gyorgy Kolonics, who died suddenly while training in July. "I tried to compete to honour my former teammate. He's with us from heaven and helps us mentally to compete," said Vajda.

German icon Andreas Dittmer's miseries at the Games continued as the Athens silver medallist and 500m C1 champion ended the final a distant eighth. "I'm frightfully disappointed," said Dittmer. "I couldn't hold the tempo so it hurts a lot more in my head than in my body."

The women's K4 Olympic title was successfully defended by the form German crew of Fanny
Fischer, Nicole Reinhardt, Katrin Wagner-Augustin and Conny Wassmuth, frustrating the Hungarians who took the silver medals, and a jubilant Australian crew that got up at the end to deny the Polish four the bronze medals.

"We haven't won in the Olympics against Germany since 1992," said Hungary's Katalin Kovacs. "Today was no different."

The men's K2 title was won by Germany's Andreas Ihle and Martin Hollstein after a clinical endsprint from 250 metres out that afforded them the luxury of being able to stop paddling before they reached the line and start their celebrations. "Three Olympic Games, Gold. Third time lucky," said Ihle. "The first time was fourth, the second time was second, so the third time first was going to happen."

The fancied Hungarian world champion duo of
Zoltan Kammerer and Gabor Kucsera set a blisteringly fast pace from the start, and led convincingly through the 250 and 500 metre markers. However they went too fast too soon, and faded in the final stages to finish outside of the medals, which went instead to Denmark's Kim Wraae Knudsen and Rene Holten Poulsen, with the bronze going to Italians Andrea Facchin and Antonio Scaduto, who celebrated by jumping out of their K2 shortly after crossing the finish line.

The men's C2 final produced the days most thrilling finish. The defending Olympic champions Christian Gille and Thomasz Wylenzek dominated the heat through, and were leading going into the final fifty meters. However the Belarissian brothers
Andrei and Alaiksandr Bahdanovich realised that the needed to do something special to win the final, and produced a Herculean effort on the line that saw them snatch the gold medals away from the Germans.

The last final of the day sent the Belarus supporters into raptures, as their men's K4 produced another golds medal. holding off the Slovakia, and the much-fancied German K4 crew. the Slovakians led at the halfway point, but inspired  by the triumph of the Bahdanovich brothers, the Belarus crew was able to dig deep in the heat to surge clear to claim the gold medals.

SUMMARY OF RESULTS
MENS K1 1000m FINAL
1.Tim Brabants GBR 3:26.323
2.Eirik Veraas Larsen NOR 3:27.342
3.Ken Wallace AUS 3:27.485
4.Ben Fouhy NZL 3:29.193
5.Max Hoff GER 3:29.391
6.Markus Oscarsson SWE 3:30.198 
7.Stjepan Janic CRO 3:30.495
8.Adam van Koeverden CAN 3:31.793
9.Zoltan Benko HUN 3:32.120

MENS C1 1000m FINAL
1.Attila Vajda HUN 3:50.467
2.David Cal ESP 3:52.751
3.Thomas Hall CAN 3:53.653
4.Vadim Menkov RUS 3:54.237
5.Alaiksandr Zhukovski BLR 3:55.645
6.Florin Georgian Mironcic ROU 3:57.876
7.Mathieu Goubel FRA 3:57.889
8.Andreas Dittmer GER 3:57.894
9.Aldo Pruna CUB 3:59.087

WOMEN'S K4 500m FINAL
1.Fischer/Reinhardt/Wagner-Augustin/Wassmuth GER 1:32.231
2.Kovacs/Szabo/Kozak/Szabo HUN 1:32.971
3.Oldenhof/Davis/Meek/Fogarty AUS 1:34.704
4.Mikolajczyk/Konieczna/Dzieniszewska/Kuczkowska POL 1:34.752
5.manchon/Smidakova/Molanes/Portela ESP 1:35.366
6.Kitamoto/Kuno/Takeya/Kuno JPN 1:36.465
7.Eray/Joyce/Mocke/Hodson RSA 1:36.724
8.Cicali/Galiotto/Sgroli/Fagioli ITA 1:36.770
9.Xu/Zhong/Yu/Liang CHN 1:37.418

MEN'S K2 1000m FINAL
1.Martin Hollstein/Ihle Andreas GER 3:11.809
2.Kim Wraae Knudsen/Rene Holten Poulsen DEN 3:13.5780
3.Andrea Facchin/Antonio Scaduto ITA 3:14.750
4.Adam Seroczynski/Mariusz Kujawski POL 3:14.828
5.Zoltan Kammerer/Gabor Kucsera HUN 3:15.049
6.Mike Walker/Steve Ferguson NZL 3:15.329
7.Phillpe Colin/Cyrille Carrer FRA 3:16.532
8.Krists Straume/Kistaps Zalupe LAT 3:19.387
9.Jie Shen/Huang Zhipeng CHN 3:22.058

MENS C2 1000m FINAL
1.Andrei Bahdanovich/Alaiksandr Bahdanovich BLR 3:36.365
2.Christain Gille/Thomasz Wylenzek GER 3:36.588
3.Gyorgy Kozmann/Tamas Kiss HUN 3:40.258
4.Constantin Ciprian Popa/Niculae Flocea ROM 3:40.342
5.Chen Zongyun/Zhang Zhiwu CHN 3:40.593
6.Andrew Russell/Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny CAN 3:41.165
7.Wojciech Tyszynski/Pawel Baraszkiewicz POL 3:42.845
8.Sergey Ulegin/Alexander Kostoglod RUS 3:44.669
9.Serguey Torres/Karel Aguilar CUB 3:48.877

MEN'S K4 1000m FINAL
1.Piatrushenka/Abalmasau/Litvinchuk/Makhneru BLR 2:55.714
2.Riszdorfer/Riszdorfer/Vlcek/tarr SVK 2:56.593
3.Altepost/Brockl/Eckbrett/Goldschmidt GER 2:56.676
4.Benedini/Rossi/Ricchetti/Piemonte ITA 2:57.626
5.Sik/Bee/Vereckei/Bozsik HUN 2:59.009
6.Twardowski/Mendelski/Baumann/Wysocki POL 2:59.505
7.Li/Lui/Zhou/Lin CHN 3:00.078
8.Medvedev/Salakhov/Vasilyev/Vishnyakov RUS 3:00.654
9.Reardon/Mortimer/Pellini/Hill CAN 3:01.630


ENDS

Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
Great Britain's Tim Brabants wins the men's 1000m K1 gold medal.

Pic:Balint Vekassy /
ICF

Hungary's Attila Vajda wins the Olympic gold medal in the men's 1000m C1 final.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

The German crew of Martin Hollstein and Andreas Ihle win the Olympic final of the men's 1000m K2.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

The victorious German women's K4 crew of Fanny Fischer, Nicole Reinhardt, Katrin Wagner-Augustin and Conny Wassmuth after winning the women's 500m K4 final.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

Andrei and Alaiksandr Bahdanovich win Belarus' first ever canoeing gold medal in the men's 1000m C2 final.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

The Belarus men's K4 celebrate their victory in the Olympic final of the 1000m K4.

Pic:Balint Vekassy/
ICF

For further images please contact Ana-Marija Garcevic at anamarija.garcevic@canoeicf.com

For any further information, or if you cannot access these images, please contact:
Dave Macleod
ICF Media Officer
dave@gameplanmedia.co.za
Mobile 086 135 22187252