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Canoeing at the 1992 Barcelona Summer Games:

Men's Kayak Singles, 500 metres

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Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Catalonia Olympic Canal, Castelldefels
Date Started: August 3, 1992
Date Finished: August 7, 1992

Gold: FIN Mikko Kolehmainen
Silver: HUN Zsolt Gyulay
Bronze: NOR Knut Holmann

Summary

The field for the men’s K-1 500 at the 1992 Summer Olympics was fairly open, as results in the event at the World Championships had been fairly inconsistent. The last three World Champions had been Martin Hunter of Australia, Sergey Kalesnik of the Soviet Union (now competing for the Unified Team), and Renn Crichlow of Canada, with Hunter being the only one of the three to have medaled more than once in the event (he was third in 1990). Hungary’s Zsolt Gyulay was the defending Olympic champion and had earned bronze at the 1991 World Championships, while Cuba’s Angel Pérez was the most recent Pan American champion.

Crichlow and Kalesnik won their heats, the latter doing so in Olympic record time and helping consign Hunter to the repêchage, where he was eliminated. Gyulay, meanwhile, was sent to the repêchage by Finland’s Mikko Kolehmainen, although he survived to the semi-finals. The other heat was taken by Roberto Liberato of Switzerland, while the repêchage was notable for the performance of Norway’s Knut Holmann, the reigning K-1 1000 World Champion, who bested Kalesnik’s record by 0.54 seconds. Fortunes changed in the semi-finals, where Crichlow was eliminated in a heat won by Norman Bellingham of the United States, a 1988 Olympic champion in the K-2 1000, while Kolehmainen took the other. The final was a thrilling race where Kolehmainen, Gyulay, Holmann, Bellingham, and Kalesnik all crossed the finish line in that order within 0.56 seconds of the Finn’s Olympic record-setting time. Although it would be Kolehmainen’s only Olympic medal, Gyulay would go on to be runner-up in the K-4 1000, while Holmann became Olympic champion in the K-1 1000.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Mikko Kolehmainen 27 Finland FIN Gold OB
2 Zsolt Gyulay 27 Hungary HUN Silver
3 Knut Holmann 23 Norway NOR Bronze
4 Norman Bellingham 27 United States USA
5 Sergey Kalesnik 22 Unified Team EUN
6 Roberto Liberato 26 Switzerland SUI
7 Daniele Scarpa 28 Italy ITA
8 Marin Popescu 18 Romania ROU
9 Artūras Vieta 31 Lithuania LTU
5 h2r3/4 Renn Crichlow 24 Canada CAN
6 h1r3/4 Karl Sundqvist 29 Sweden SWE
6 h2r3/4 John MacDonald 26 New Zealand NZL
7 h1r3/4 Attila Szabó 26 Czechoslovakia TCH
7 h2r3/4 Gregorio Vicente 23 Spain ESP
8 h1r3/4 Grzegorz Kotowicz 18 Poland POL
8 h2r3/4 Angel Pérez 21 Cuba CUB
9 h1r3/4 Pat Holmes 26 Ireland IRL
9 h2r3/4 José Garcia 28 Portugal POR
4 h2r2/4 Martin Hunter 26 Australia AUS
4 h3r2/4 Willem van Riet 22 South Africa RSA
5 h1r2/4 Zvonimir Krznarić 20 Croatia CRO
5 h2r2/4 Simon Parsons 23 Great Britain GBR
5 h3r2/4 Sebastián Cuattrin 18 Brazil BRA
6 h1r2/4 Žarko Vekić 25 Individual Olympic Athletes IOA
6 h2r2/4 Enrique Leite 28 Uruguay URU
6 h3r2/4 Roberto Heinze Flamand 20 Mexico MEX
7 h2r2/4 Anisi 23 Indonesia INA
7 h3r2/4 Gang Gi-Jin 19 South Korea KOR