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Canoeing at the 1980 Moskva Summer Games:

Men's Kayak Singles, 500 metres

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Host City: Moskva, Soviet Union
Venue(s): Canoeing and Rowing Basin, Krylatskoye Sports Complex, Moskva
Date Started: July 30, 1980
Date Finished: August 1, 1980

Gold: URS Vladimir Parfenovich
Silver: AUS John Sumegi
Bronze: ROU Vasile Dîba

Summary

Romania’s Vasile Dîba was the reigning Olympic champion in the men’s K-1 500, as well as the 1974, 1977, and 1978 World Champion, and was well-positioned to defend his title at the 1980 Summer Olympics. He was certain to be challenged by the Soviet Union’s Vladimir Parfenovich, the most recent World Champion and the 1978 runner-up, as well as 1976 Olympic runner-up Zoltán Sztanity of Hungary, who was also the 1977 World bronze medalist. Also in contention were Poland’s Grzegorz Śledziewski, who could count silver medals in the K-1 500 from the 1970 and 1977 World Championships among his many international accolades, and Australia’s John Sumegi, the 1979 World runner-up.

Sumegi posted the fastest time in the opening round, defeating Dîba and helping to relegate Sztanity to the repêchage in the process, while Parfenovich bested Śledziewski in his own heat. A third heat was won by Frank-Peter Bischof, who was representing East Germany, the most recent World bronze medalist. Bischof again won an easy heat in the semi-finals, while Sumegi helped eliminate Śledziewski in a different one. The final heat was shared by Parfenovich, Dîba, and Sztanity, who finished in that order. In the medal round, the competitors began distancing themselves from one another in the final stretch and Parfenovich, Sumegi, and Dîba completed the course in that order without too much trouble. Dîba also took silver in the K-4 1000 at these Games, while Parfenovich became a triple Olympic champion thanks to his performance in the K-2 500, the K-2 1000, and this event.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Vladimir Parfenovich 21 Soviet Union URS Gold
2 John Sumegi 25 Australia AUS Silver
3 Vasile Dîba 25 Romania ROU Bronze
4 Milan Janić 23 Yugoslavia YUG
5 Frank-Peter Bischof 25 East Germany GDR
6 Anders Andersson 27 Sweden SWE
7 Ian Ferguson 28 New Zealand NZL
8 Felix Masár 24 Czechoslovakia TCH
9 Zoltán Sztanity 26 Hungary HUN
4 h1r3/4 Grayson Bourne Great Britain GBR
4 h2r3/4 Patrick Lefoulon 22 France FRA
4 h3r3/4 Grzegorz Śledziewski 30 Poland POL
5 h1r3/4 Helmut Lehmann 21 Switzerland SUI
5 h2r3/4 Theo Claessens 31 Belgium BEL
5 h3r3/4 Jan Baaijens 23 Netherlands NED
4 h1r2/4 Jorge Colome 22 Cuba CUB
4 h2r2/4 Declan Burns 24 Ireland IRL