The semifinal round of the canoe sprint k-1 1000 meters race was held on Monday, Aug 6, at the Summer Olympics. 16 of the best in the world attempted to put up their fastest time on Monday, but nobody was able to top Adam van Koeverden of Canada. Seven other competitors will join van Koeverden later in the week in the final round for the chance to win the gold medal.
The canoe sprint k-1 1000 meters competition started off with the heat round involving 22 athletes. This number was cut down to the 16 fastest riders for the semifinal round on Monday. The 16 riders were separated in two groups of eight, and the four fastest times from each group advanced to the final round. The final round will consist of one more run for each rider with the three fastest times getting on the podium. Some of the other notable athletes joining Adam van Koeverden in the final round include Tim Brabants of Great Britian, the gold medalists in this event in 2008, and Eirik Veras Larsen of Norway, the silver medalist in 2008.
While most people would expect Tim Brabants to be the favorite in this event, I do not see how it is possible for him to win the gold medal. He was able to win the gold medal in this event at the last Summer Olympics and he is racing in his home country, but he has barely advanced past each round so far. Brabants got the fifth and final spot in his heat to advance to semifinal round, and he also got the final advancing spot in semifinal round. If Brabants was a tenth of a second slower in his run, he would not have made the final round.
I personally think that van Koeverden and Larsen have to be the favorites to win the gold medal. They were the two fastest riders in their semifinal group, and they both have a history of performing well at the Summer Olympics. The sport of can be extremely unpredictable because one mistake will cost you a shot at winning. When you combine this with the great field of athletes in this event, anything can happen during the final round.
Jake has been canoeing and kayaking several times in his life, and enjoys watching the sport every four years at the Summer Olympics.