Germany’s Ricarda Funk buried the heartbreak of missing selection for the Rio Olympics with an error-free run to win gold in the women’s kayak slalom at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday.

Spain’s Maialen Chourraut took the silver medal, making her the oldest athlete to win a women’s Olympic medal, while pre-event favourite Jessica Fox posted the fastest time of the day, but also picked up four seconds in penalties to relegate her to bronze, the same results as Rio in 2016.

Funk was the third last athlete on the course, and already knew she had a medal before the final two paddlers took to the course. She was so excited to make the podium she didn’t even watch the final two runs.

Official results from Tokyo 2020

Five years ago Funk was the form athlete heading into the Rio Olympics, but imploded at the final selection and missed the Games. The 29-year-old said it had been a long wait.

“I was really sad after my selections in 2016, and I was fighting hard and kept fighting for five years, and now it’s a gold medal,” Funk said.

“I knew I could do it, but it was like a puzzle, I had to bring all the pieces together. I knew I had the ability.”

38-year-old Chourraut celebrated her fourth Olympics with a silver medal, to add the gold she won in Rio in 2016 and the bronze from London in 2012.

Like Funk, Chourraut posted a clean run in the final, finishing 1.13 seconds behind the German.

“It’s a very special moment, it was very hard for me to arrive here, five years of fighting, but five years thinking the probability of doing something special here is the same for everyone on the start line, so I fought to the last moment,” Chourraut said.

“Now I’m here, but my feeling is very strange. I can’t believe that this medal, this silver medal, is with me.”

Spain Maialen Chourraut silver medal Tokyo Olympics

Australia’s Fox went into the final as the number one ranked paddler, and had enhanced her standing with outstanding heat and semi-final performances.

But her run in the final was mistake-ridden, with an early touch on gate four and another touch at the finish giving her four seconds in penalties. Her raw time was 102.73, but the penalties put her 1.23 seconds behind Funk.

“I’m feeling all the emotions I think,” Fox said.

“Relief to be on the podium, a bit of disappointment obviously to not put down the dream run, but at the same time, to make it on to the podium just with a mistake at the finish line. All the emotions, there is a lot to learn from today.

“The mistake at the finish was just one too many unfortunately, and it just knocked me out of the gold medal, but to be on the podium is something I’m really proud of.”

Mistakes by two other paddlers also proved costly in the hunt for medals. Italy’s Stefanie Horn robbed herself of a silver medal with a two-second penalty, while Poland’s Klaudia Zwolinska dropped from third to fifth with four seconds in penalties.



  1. FUNK Ricarda (GER) 105.50 (0 seconds in penalties)
  2. CHOURRAUT Maialen (ESP) 106.63 (0)
  3. FOX Jessica (AUS) 106.73 (4)

Pics by Bence Vekassy

Australia Jessica Fox K1 bronze Tokyo

Canoe Slalom
#ICFcanoeslalom #Canoeslalom