Brazil, China, Hungary and Germany picked up the final four gold medals on offer as the Tokyo Olympic canoe sprint programme came to an end in driving rain at the Sea Waterway course on Saturday.

Isaquias dos Santos won Brazil’s first ever canoe sprint gold medal, Mengya Sun and Shixiao Xu picked up a first female Olympic gold medal for China, the German men’s K4 finally broke through for their country’s first gold medal of the week, and the Hungarian women’s K4 won their third consecutive Games crown.

The win for the Hungarian women’s K4 gave Danuta Kozak a sixth career gold medal, moving her into outright second on the overall canoe sprint table, and ended a frustrating week where she won bronze in the K2 500 and missed a medal in the K1 500

“I was a little bit sad because I couldn’t make the other races a good race, so that made me a little bit frustrated,” Kozak said.

“But after the end I could do the K4, and I am very proud of everyone and the team.”

The silver medal went to Belarus, while Poland won the bronze. New Zealand had to settle for fourth, denying Lisa Carrington the chance for a record fourth Olympic medal in Tokyo.

There were emotional scenes for Brazil’s Isaquias dos Santos after he won gold in the men’s C1 1000, the first Olympic gold medal in canoe sprint for Brazil.

Dos Santos, a three-time medalist in Rio, dedicated his gold to his former coach, who died from a brain tumour in 2018.

“I still can’t believe it, but it has always been my dream after Rio to come here and win a gold medal,” dos Santos said.

“The last five years have been really hard, especially after the passing of my coach Jesus Morlan, so we had to overcome this and work even harder to win a medal.”

China’s Hao Liu won the silver, while Moldova’s Serghei Tarnovschi won the bronze. In Rio Tarnovschi also won the bronze, only to have it removed after a positive drug test.

It was also an emotional day for Ronald Rauhe, who helped Germany to a K4 500 gold medal at his sixth and final Olympic appearance.

The Germans fought a tough battle against Spain to win that country’s only gold medal of the week.

“It’s hard for me to describe my emotions, today it was clear that I would do my last stroke, and I’m just happy and really really proud that we finished first,” Rauhe said.

“We had a challenge with the Spanish, it was close, I’m just happy that I can finish my career with a good one, I feel good to end everything.”

Spain finished with the silver, and Slovakia the bronze.

The first ever women’s C2 500 event went the way of China, with Mengya Sun and Shixiao Xu winning their country’s first ever canoe sprint gold medal.

“We are so happy, it is a big honour for us to come to the Olympics for the first time and compete here,” Sun said.

“We told each other before the race that there was no pressure, and not to let pressure destroy us. We just wanted to show what we had trained to do at home. We just wanted to treat it like normal training.”

 

Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan and Anastasiia Chetverikova won the silver, while Canada’s Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Katie Vincent won the bronze.

New Zealand and Hungary finished the week as the most successful nations, winning three gold medals each, while there were single golds for Germany, Cuba, Brazil, Australia, China and USA.

Hungary finished with six medals overall, while 16 countries finished on the medal table.

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Hungary women K4 Tokyo Olympics

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