The final round of the men's canoe sprint K4 1000 meters competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics was held on Thursday, Aug. 9. The competition started with ten countries, but was quickly dwindled down to the fast eight teams on the first day of the competition. The fastest eight teams then competed in the final run, where the three fastest times would get a spot on the podium. While they were not in contention in any other canoeing events at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the Australians were able to record the fastest time on Thursday.
The Australian team consisted of Tate Smith, Dave Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear, and their victory was the first medal Australia won in canoeing at this year's Olympics. Most of these athletes are returning from the 2008 team that competed in this event. While they finished outside of medal contention in 2008, it looks like the experience greatly improved the team. Australia was also joined on the podium by the teams from Hungary and the Czech Republic. It is no surprise the Hungarian team won the silver medal, as they currently have more medals in canoeing than any other country this year. Australia may have won the gold medal, but they were only one small mistake from finishing off of the podium. Only one second separated the Australian team from the the German team in fourth place.
I personally was thinking that the team from Slovakia was going to be the favorites in this event, but they were only able to finish in sixth place. They were returning most of the members from the team that won the silver medal in 2008. They also were able to record the fastest time in the heat round to automatically advance to the finals. The team from Slovakia had all of the credentials to be called the favorites, but they did not show up when it matter the most. The unpredictability of the sport is exactly what makes the sport of canoeing so interesting at the Summer Olympics, and that is what we got in this event.
Jake has been canoeing and kayaking several times in his life, and enjoys watching the sport every four years at the Summer Olympics.
- Sports & Recreation