Day 3 of canoe and kayak slalom heats at Whitewater Stadium featured men’s canoe double (C2) and women’s kayak single (K1) competition.
A race against time
Over 30 combined canoe/kayak slalom athletes raced in the heats. Each athlete must pass through 24 gates in the fastest time possible, while doing their best to avoid any penalties. A touched gate results in a two-second penalty and a completely missed gate results in a 50-second penalty.
Men’s canoe double heats
Twelve pairs competed for 11 spots in the C2 semifinals with one pair eliminated from the Olympics.
After both heats, Slovakia’s Ladislav Skantar and Peter Skantar finished first overall (100.89 seconds – run 1), France’s Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche took second (102.43 seconds – run 2), and Great Britain’s David Florence and Richard Hounslow finished third overall (103.27 seconds – run 1).
The U.S. duo of Devin McEwan and Casey Eichfeld qualified for the semifinal by finishing tenth with a time of 112.33 seconds.
Japan’s Tsubasa Sasaki and Shota Sasaki finished 12th and were eliminated.
Heats run 1
The Skantar cousins put up the best time of the first heat races posting a time of 100.89 with no penalties. Florence and Hounslow of Great Britain also had a clean run finishing in 103.27. which was good for second place. Russia’s Dimitry Larionov and Mikhail Kuznetsov had the worst run of the first heat as they missed a gate.
Heats run 2
Larionov and Kuznetsov came back in heat 2 with a solid run of 107.39 seconds to qualify for the semifinal. France’s Klauss and Peche finished with the top time of heat 2 and qualified second overall.
Women’s kayak single heats
In the women’s K1, 21 athletes competed for the 15 semifinal spots.
After both kayak heats, the overall top-three finishers were: Italy’s Stefanie Horn (99.07 seconds – run 2), Australia’s Jessica Fox (99.51 seconds – run 2), and Great Britain’s Fionna Pennie (100.52 – run 1).
Marie-Zelia Lafont (FRA), Ana Satila (BRA), Ella Nicholas (COK), Yekaterina Smirnova (KAZ), Aki Yazawa (JPN) and Hind Jamili (MAR) were eliminated.
Heats run 1
Heat one of women’s K1 was full of surprises. Pennie of Great Britain shocked many as she won the first heat with a time of 100.52. Luuka Jones of New Zealand came in second finishing less than a second behind Pennie (100.59 seconds). World number one Fox finished eighth after heat one as she was over seven seconds behind Pennie (107.88 seconds).
Heats run 2
After posting 113.15 seconds in heat 1, Ashley Nee of the United States had a much better run in heat 2 to advance to the semifinals in 9th place with a time 105.60 seconds.
Italy’s Horn (99.07 seconds) and Australia’s Fox (99.51 seconds) finished first and second respectively in heat 2, with the two fastest runs overall.