The sun shined down as the fastest canoe/kayak sprinters in the world took the start line on a beautiful early morning in Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon.
It was no surpise that all of the favorites advanced to Final A (gold medal final).
Men’s Canoe Single 1000m
Three heats started the day and the top finisher of each heat advanced automatically to Final A on Tuesday.
The reigning Olympic champion and three-time defending world champion, Germany’s Sebastian Brendel, easily advanced to Final A.
Brendel’s top challengers, Moldova’s Serghei Tarnovishi, Brazil’s Isaquias Quieroz and Martin Fuksa of Czech Republic all also advanced to Final A and will give Brendel a run for his money.
Fuksa, took a longer road to Final A, however. He matched up with Quieroz in heat 2 and Quieroz prevailed. It sent Fuksa to the semifinal, but he got the job done there.
Women’s Kayak Double 500m
Two heats sent the top finisher automatically to the Final A. Hungary is the gold medal favorite, while Germany sits as the reigning Olympic champion in the discipline.
Germany’s Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze and Hungary’s Gabriella Szabo and Danuta Kozak will face each other in Final A. Both teams automatically advanced from wins in their respective heats.
Poland’s Karolina Naja and Beata Mikolajczyk will also contend for medals in this class.
Women’s Kayak Single 200m
The top six women in each heat advance to the semifinals and the top two in the semifinals advance to Final A.
Lisa Carrington of New Zealand has been the fastest woman in a kayak for quite some time now and still is after advancing to the semifinal and finishing with the fastest time of 39.561 seconds.
In the last five years, Carrington has won gold at either the World Championship or the Olympics and seeks to maintain the streak in Rio.
Carrington’s top challenger on Tuesday will be Poland’s Marta Walczykiewicz. Walczykiewicz has finished second behind the Kiwi in three straight world championships.
American Maggie Hogan, who endured a long Olympic qualifying process was eliminated in the heats and did not advance to the semifinals.
Men’s Kayak Single 1000m
There is no clear-cut favorite in this event unlike the other disciplines.
Denmark’s Rene Holten Poulsen, Czech Republic’s Josef Dostal and Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta were all medal contenders heading into the heats. All three advanced to final A and will compete for Olympic gold on Tuesday.
The trio is heavily favored to make up the podium.