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Canoeing at the 1976 Montréal Summer Games:

Men's Kayak Singles, 500 metres

Canoeing at the 1976 Summer Games: Next Summer Games

Events:
Phases:

Host City: Montréal, Canada
Venue(s): Olympic Basin, Notre Dame Island, Montréal, Québec
Date Started: July 28, 1976
Date Finished: July 30, 1976

Gold: ROU Vasile Dîba
Silver: HUN Zoltán Sztanity
Bronze: GDR Rüdiger Helm

Summary

The men’s K-1 500 was held for the first time at the Olympics in 1976 and, with 1973 and 1975 World Champion Géza Csapó of Hungary competing in the K-1 1000 instead, the path seemed open for Romania’s Vasile Dîba, the 1974 World Champion and 1975 runner-up, to take the inaugural Olympic title. Hungary, meanwhile, sent Zoltán Sztanity, a 1960 Olympic champion in the K-1 4 x 500 metres relay. Another contender was Poland’s Grzegorz Śledziewski, bronze medalist in the event at the last three World Championships. Śledziewski won his heat in the opening round, but the fastest time went to Dîba by a margin of 0.13 seconds. Sztanity, meanwhile, came in second in a heat won by Rüdiger Helm of East Germany. Sztanity was again second in the semi-finals, this time to Śledziewski, while Helm was runner-up to Sergey Lizunov of the Soviet Union, who posted the round’s fastest time by the slimmest of margins, 0.01 seconds, over Śledziewski. Dîba won the third heat and, more importantly, the final, by emerging victorious by 0.54 seconds in a battle against Sztanity over the final stretch. Helm had his own challenges in claiming bronze, having to stave off Śledziewski and Spain’s Herminio Menéndez: only 0.19 seconds separated these canoeists as they crossed the finish line. Helm’s medal was one of three that he won at the Games, as he was also champion in the K-1 1000 and a bronze medalist in the K-4 1000, while Dîba also took bronze in the K-1 1000.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Vasile Dîba 21 Romania ROU Gold OB
2 Zoltán Sztanity 22 Hungary HUN Silver
3 Rüdiger Helm 19 East Germany GDR Bronze
4 Herminio Menéndez 22 Spain ESP
5 Grzegorz Śledziewski 26 Poland POL
6 Sergey Lizunov 21 Soviet Union URS
7 Oreste Perri 24 Italy ITA
8 Doug Parnham 24 Great Britain GBR
9 Alain Lebas 22 France FRA
4 h1r3/4 Ivan Manev 25 Bulgaria BUL
4 h2r3/4 Dean Oldershaw 29 Canada CAN
4 h3r3/4 Gaëtan Frys 21 Belgium BEL
5 h1r3/4 Ladislav Souček 30 Czechoslovakia TCH
5 h2r3/4 Harald Nilsen 21 Norway NOR
5 h3r3/4 Hans Eich 27 West Germany FRG
4 h1r2/4 Henry Krawczyk 30 United States USA
4 h2r2/4 Ian Ferguson 23 New Zealand NZL
5 h2r2/4 Ng Tsuen Man 28 Hong Kong HKG