Hungary and Germany dominate canoe sprint races at Eton Dorney
Hungary and Germany dominated the canoe sprint yesterday, winning three of the four events outright and claiming half of the 12 medals up for grabs on the day.
Germany’s Sebastian Brendal won gold in the men’s canoe 1,000m race, while compatriot Max Hoff claimed bronze in the men’s single kayak, and the women’s K4 crew picked up silver in the 500 metre race.
Hungary’s performance was even more impressive.
The country’s women’s K4 team won gold in a race in which the British finished fifth, while Rudolf Dombi and Roland Kokeny also stormed to gold in the men’s double kayak.
Only Norway’s Eirik Veras Larsen could break their hegemony. He was able to win the men’s 1,000m kayak, defeating Beijing champion Tim Brabants, who finished eighth after a valiant attempt to defend his crown.
Huge crowds and German and Hungarian fans, many with drums and banners, packed in to the grandstands at Eton Dorney to watch their respective countries do battle for supremacy of the lake, leaving one fan to ask as he left: “Is canoeing Hungary’s national sport?”
Germany have a long history in the sprint events.
Their team topped the medal standings in Beijing, while Hungary’s Atilla Vajda, who came sixth yesterday, won the C1 1,000m four years ago.
For Kokeny, 36, it was his last chance to claim gold as he raced with 25-year-old Dombi.
Speaking after the race, he said: “We just wanted to win. This is my last Olympics and we formed a powerful team. You only need to have enough will to really want to show that you’re still able to win.”