Slalom Men's C2 semi-final report and photographs
Beijing - A heavy thunder and lightning storm over Shunyi forced the
postponement of the semi-final and final of the Olympic women's K1 slalom
competition, and the final of the men's C2 competition.
Minutes after the completion of the semi-final of the men's C2 competition,
which was held in steady rain, the arrival of local lightning forced the
officials to initiate two successive thirty minute delays in the hope that
the lightning would move away.
However the lightning persisted, and after close consultation with
climatological experts, it was agreed to postpone the rest of the days
programme to Friday, starting with the women's K1 semi-final at 3pm.
The dramatic events will not offer any consolation to the four crews
eliminated in the men's C2 semi final, which was completed shortly before
the onset of the lightning.
In that semi-final, the twins Peter and Pavol Hochschorner from Slovakia who
have been virtually unbeatable in world C2 racing for the past four years,
were shaded by the fired-up German crew of Felix Michel and Sebastian Piersig,
whose 94 second clear run saw them win the semi-final, and take a decided
advantage into Friday decider, where the scores of the semi-final are added
to the final scores.
The Hochschorners picked up a two second penalty for a fleeting touch on
gate seven that cost them two seconds and the top seeding for the final,
placing them in the unusual position of having to make up time in the final
instead of exerting the pressure on the other competitors.
The French duo of Cedric Forgit and Martin Braud picked up two touches in
their semi-final that cost them two places in the semi-final, and four
seconds of penalties that will make their bid for a medal in tomorrows final
a lot tougher.
The high flying Chinese crew of Minghai Hu and Junrong Shu was dramatically
eliminated from the final when they capsized at the big drop below gate
four. They righted their boat impressively in difficult circumstances, but
had passed beneath the gate five, resulting in a fifty second penalty.
The challenge of the Australian crew of Mark Bellefiore and Lachlan Milne
ended in a disastrous flurry of three successive gate pole touches at
eleven, twelve and thirteen.
"We knew as soon as we came off the water that it wasn't good enough," said
Bellefiore. "It was just one of those bad touches."
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
MEN'S C2 SEMI-FINAL
1.Felix Michel/Sebastian Piersig GER 94.38
2.Peter Hochschorner/Pavel Hochschorner SVK 94.88
3.Jarolsav Volf/Ondrej Stepanek CZE 95.33
4.Mikhail Kusnetskov/Dmitry Larionov RUS 98.57
5.Cedric Forgit/Martin Braud FRA 102.76
6.Andrea Benetti/Erik Masoero ITA 103.64
7.Mark Bellefiore/Lachlan Milne AUS 104.17 DNQ
8.Pawel Sarna/Marcin Pochwala POL 105.32 DNQ
9.Masatoshi Samma/Hiroyuki Nagao JPN 110.10 DNQ
10.Minghai Hu/Junrong Shu CHN 164.08 DNQ