Preview European Olympic Qualifier Canoe Sprint (Men)

Three gold medallists from London 2012 Olympic Games are amongst those who will attempt to secure a spot in Rio through the European qualifiers that are set to commence in Duisburg, Germany on the 18th May.

K1M 200m champion Ed McKeever is perhaps the biggest name still not guaranteed a starting berth in Rio after failing to make the final at last year’s world championships.

Also hoping to have the opportunity to defend a top position on the Olympic podium is Iurii Cheban (UKR, C1M 200m) and Peter Krtschmer (GER, C2M 1000m).  

Krtschmer has changed partners since his 2012 victory and will compete with Michael Muller (GER) when the action gets underway in Duisburg.

All three champions will look to the positive, with two boats that qualified through the European route last time around winning gold in London.

Racing starts at 09:00 CET on Wednesday the 18th with the finals on the following day. 

Two Olympic berths are up for grabs across all the singles events and the C2M 1000m, with a single crew able to qualify in the remaining races.

K1M 200m

  • London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner Edward McKeever (GBR) and silver medallist Saúl Craviotto (ESP) both still need to qualify for Rio.
  • Since the London Games, McKeever and Craviotto both managed to finish in the top two of this event in a major race only once - McKeever came second at the 2014 European Championships and Craviotto won the Milan World Cup race in 2014.
  • Belgium and Lithuania qualified for the London 2012 Olympic Games in this event at the Qualifying event in 2012.
  • Lithuania have already secured a boat in this event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games thanks to Ignas Navakauskas's (LTU) fourth place at the 2015 World Championships.
  • Jonathan Delombaerde (BEL) will try to secure a ticket for Belgium. His best result in this event was a ninth place at the European Games in 2015.
  • Hungary (6th) and Germany (8th) are the other European boats that competed in the London 2012 final, but that still have to qualify for Rio.

K1M 1000m

  • Defending Olympic champion Norway has yet to qualify a boat for this event. In 2012 Eirik Veras Larsen (NOR) claimed his second gold medal in this event.
  • This year's Norwegian entry Jo Sondre Solhaug (NOR) has not claimed a podium finish in this event in a major race in the last three years.
  • Norway and Sweden have won a record four gold medals in this event at the Olympic Games.
  • Spain and Great Britain are the other 2012 finalists that have yet to qualify for Rio.
  • Four years ago, France and Italy clinched the tickets for this event at the Qualifying tournament. Both boats will try to repeat that feat in Duisburg.
  • In London, Italy failed to progress from the heats, and France was eliminated in the semifinals.
  • Bram Brandjes (NED) hopes to become the first athlete for the Netherlands to reach the Games in any boat in canoe sprint since 1992. Niels Krouwel (men's K1M 200m) and Eef Haaze (K1W 500m) also hope to qualify.

K2M 200m

  • Russia won Olympic gold in this event in London after having clinched the last European ticket at the Qualifying event in 2012.
  • Belarus claimed silver at the London Games and it can now secure their place in Rio in this qualifying race. Its best result in K2M 200m in a major race since London was a ninth place at the 2015 European Games.
  • Sweden finished eighth at the 2015 World Championships just missing out on qualification for the Rio Olympic Games. Christian Svanqvist (SWE) competed in that race. He will now team up with Erik Sandbacka (SWE).
  • Latvia finished 11th at the London Games and it will now try to qualify for Rio.
  • Poland hope to have a boat in this event in Rio. Of all countries with 10+ total medals in any canoe sprint event at the Games, Poland (17 medals) is the only team not to have won a gold medal.

K2M 1000m

  • Portugal won the qualifying race in 2012 and then went on to claim silver at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
  • This is Portugal's first and so far only Olympic medal in any Canoe Sprint event (men/women).
  • Russia can qualify for Rio after finishing sixth in the final in London.
  • Poland's Mariusz Kujawski/Pawel Szandrach (POL) won the Universiade in 2013, the World Cup in Poznan in 2013 and in Milan in 2014. They finished fourth at the 2014 World Championships and in the World Cup in Duisburg in 2015.
  • Norway's last boat in this event at the Olympic Games claimed bronze, in Athens in 2004.
  • Great Britain hope to have a boat in this event for the first time since 2004, when they finished seventh.
  • Greece seek its first boat entry in this event at the Games. Greece competed in canoe sprint in 2000, 2004 and 2008 but has yet to record a top-eight finish.

C1M 200m

  • London 2012 Olympic champion Iurii Cheban (UKR) hopes to qualify for Rio in this event.
  • Slovakia and Ireland clinched the tickets for this event at the 2012 Qualifying event.
  • Slovakia then finished sixth in the final in London. Ireland won the B-final.
  • France finished seventh in the Olympic final in 2012. The best result by this year's French entry Thomas Simart (FRA) in this event in a major race in this Olympic cycle (2012-2016) is a fourth place in Racice in 2013.
  • Great Britain's Christopher Calvert (GBR) has not finished in the top 10 in this event in a major race the last three years.
  • 18-year-old Stefanos Dimopoulos (GRE), born on 14 May 1998, is the youngest competitor in all events in Duisburg. He can become the youngest Greek athlete to compete in canoe - sprint at the Games.
  • Dimopoulos will also try to qualify in C1 1000m.

C1M 1000m

  • Germany claimed a ticket at the 2012 Qualifying tournament and then went on to win gold at the London Olympic Games with Sebastian Brendel winning the race.
  • Romania took the other available ticket in 2012 and reached the B-final.
  • Belarus raced in the Olympic final in 2012, but has yet to qualify for Rio. Aliaksandr Zhukouski (BLR) finished seventh in his third participation at the Olympic Games. In Duisburg Aliaksei Makhnist will try to qualify.
  • Azerbaijan has never been represented by a boat in this event at the Games.
  • Bulgaria last entered a boat in this event at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games.
  • Estonia's only participant in this event at the Games was Tiit Tikerpe (EST), who finished 18th in 1992.

C2M 1000m

  • Germany won gold in this event at the London Games. Gold medallist Peter Kretschmer (GER) will this time try to qualify with Michael Mueller (GER).
  • Germany has won this event four times at the Games and claimed seven medals in total. Only Romania and Soviet Union - both five gold and eight medals in total - have won more.
  • Poland claimed the qualifying spot in 2012 and went on to finish first in the B-final at the London Games.
  • Romania's Liviu Dumitrescu Lazar/Victor Mihalachi finished seventh in C2 1000m in London.
  • The last time Great Britain qualified a boat in this event was in 2000, when it finished 10th.
  • Moldova's only result in this event at the Games was a fifth-place finish in 1996.
  • Latvia aim to qualify in this event for the first time.
  • Italy last competed in this event at the Games in 1960.

 

 

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