Decorated Canadian sprint canoeist Adam van Koeverden closed the door on his Olympic career in Rio on Tuesday, chuffed he had won his last ever race, and happy to be witnessing a changing of the guard in the men’s K1 1000.

34-year-old van Koeverden won the B final of the K1 1000, and walks away with the full collection of Olympic medals – a gold and bronze from Athens, and silver medals from Beijing and London.

“In one interpretation I got to win my last race, which is nice,” van Koeverden said.

“Sometimes the last chapter of a book is not necessarily the best one. You don’t get to write your own story book.

“You can write a kids book if you want, but you don’t get to write every chapter. But I’m proud of my books.”

The Canadian was not the only big name to feel the heat from a new batch of 1000 metre paddlers, with reigning World Champion Rene Holten and London bronze medallist, Max Hoff, consigned to sixth and seventh place in the A final.

“It’s a changing of the guard, it’s not an uncomfortable thing, it’s just part of sport,” van Koeverden said.

“And part of me would be disappointed if the young guys weren’t coming through and getting some results.I’m so thrilled that it’s in good hands. They are amazing.

“When I was 22 I won the Olympics, and it’s somebody else’s turn now.”

Van Koeverden also laughs that he would have liked to have had access to the new technology many of the younger athletes are now able to utilise.

“They’ve got tools that we didn’t have, you know, technology and stuff that we didn’t have,” he said.

“I’m not suggesting I was at any disadvantage, but the technology they have at their disposal is amazing, and it’s great to see them utilising it.

“I’m a sport scientist, and I love to see technology used.”

Van Koeverden said he was happy with his decision to retire, and doubts he’ll be convinced to race again.

He’s also confident Canada will continue to produce world class paddlers.

“The holistic view is a very positive one,” he said.

“My world view, my big picture, is great. I’m leaving my fourth Olympics satisfied.

“It’s a rebuilding time. Men’s kayak is a very difficult discipline, that can’t be understated. We have some developing to do, but as we can see from some of these results today, it doesn’t take that long.”

Canoe Sprint