The International Canoe Federation has been saddened by news of the death of five-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist Agneta Andersson from Sweden.

Andersson passed away at the age of 62 after a brave battle against cancer. The Swede won seven Olympic medals between 1980 and 1986, placing her behind only German legend Birgit Fischer-Schmidt in the overall medal table. She is Sweden's most successful Olympic gold medalist.

Andersson won double gold at the 1984 Olympics, winning the women’s K1 500 and teaming with Anna Olsson to win the K2 500. She was also a member of the women’s K4 500 crew which one silver.

In 1988 Andersson missed a medal, but did have the honour of carrying Sweden’s flag at the opening ceremony. Four year’s later, in Barcelona in 1992, Andersson returned to the podium with a silver with Susanne Gunnarrson in the women’s K2 500, and bronze in the women’s K4 500.

Andersson completed her Olympic career in Atlanta in 1996 at age 35, winning K2 500 gold with Gunnarsson and K4 500 bronze. She also won one gold, three silver and seven bronze at ICF world championship events.

In 1996 Andersson and Gunnarsson were awarded the Svenska Dagbladet gold medal for the most significant Swedish sport achievement of the year. Gunnarsson told Swedish media the passing of her friend will be felt by many.

"Agneta was not only a great athlete, she was also a great friend," she said.

"We have known each other since I was 16 and she was 18. We won our first medal together in 1981 at the WC and the last one in 1996. We've been through a lot together. For the last 20 years, we have spent time without a canoe. Agneta fought until the end and it hurts so much."

The International Canoe Federation sends it condolences to the family and friends of Agneta Anderrson, a true legend and leader in the 100 year history of the federation.

Canoe Sprint