Gold medallist Benjamin Savsek won Slovenia’s first gold medal in the men’s canoe slalom after a speedy performance down the white-water course.
Savsek wins gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He finished the course in the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, Tokyo, almost four seconds ahead of the nearest rival, Lukas Rohan from the Czech Republic. The bronze medal went to Germany’s Sideris Tasiadis.
With Savsek’s win, the dominance of Slovakia and France in the men’s slalom is now over. Both countries had won all gold medals since the 1996 Atlanta Games, so Slovenia’s win has brought an end to this streak.
Savsek was the sixth to take to the course in the 10-man final, and the pace had been set by world number one Sideris Tasiadis. The German canoeist had crossed the line without penalties in 103.70 seconds. His pace had slowed on a couple of upstream gates and was forced to shift his head to avoid penalties.
Savsek produced an aggressive run on the course and this was rewarded with the fastest time, shaving 5.45 seconds off the Tasiadis time. He is the only canoeist to breach the 100-second mark on the course, and therefore was able to win the gold Olympic medal.
"I was thinking that maybe this was my last chance, that’s why I was working really hard, just thinking about getting a medal at this Olympic Games," - Benjamin Savsek.
Czech Republic’s Lukas Rohan was the closest one to challenge Savsek in the next round, but still finished 3.71 seconds behind the Slovenian athlete and won the silver medal. He received two penalties during his run.
In the female category, Funk has won the K1 kayak slalom gold ahead of Spanish Maialen Chourraut and Australian Jessica Fox.
Canoe slalom on Monday was easier as the cloudy weather at the Kasai Slalom Centre had athletes compete through warmer conditions at the water course in Tokyo.