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Canoeing at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games:

Women's Kayak Singles, 500 metres

Canoeing at the 1996 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games ▪ Next Summer Games


Host City: Atlanta, United States
Venue(s): Lake Sidney Lanier, Gainesville, Georgia
Date Started: July 31, 1996
Date Finished: August 4, 1996

Gold: HUN Rita Kőbán
Silver: CAN Caroline Brunet
Bronze: ITA Josefa Idem-Guerrini


There were many luminaries among the field in the women’s K-1 500 at the 1996 Summer Olympics, most notably [Birgit Fischer] of Germany, who had three Olympic gold medals, two of which (1980 and 1992) were in this event, and 22 World Championship titles, including seven in the K-1 500. Yet it was Hungary’s [Rita Kőbán], the 1992 Olympic runner-up, who was the reigning World Champion. In the opening heats, however, Kőbán was defeated by Italy’s [Josefa Idem], the 1990 World Champion, who set an Olympic record, while Fisher was third behind Austria’s [Uschi Profanter] and Canada’s [Caroline Brunet], the latter of whom was the 1995 World runner-up in both the K-1 200 and 500. 1989 and 1991 World Champion [Katrin Borchert], formerly of Germany but now competing for Australia, took the third heat. Idem bested both Brunet and Fischer in the semi-finals, while Profanter was third in another heat won by Kőbán in Olympic record time. Borchert, meanwhile, survived to the finals only by being the faster of the two fifth-place finishers. Brunet and Kőbán led the pack and battled the entire course, with the latter winning gold in Olympic record time by a margin of 0.236 seconds, leaving the Canadian with silver. Idem, meanwhile, came in for bronze, leaving Fischer without a medal in the K-1 500 for the first time in four Olympics.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Rita Kőbán 31 Hungary HUN Gold
2 Caroline Brunet 27 Canada CAN Silver
3 Josefa Idem-Guerrini 31 Italy ITA Bronze
4 Birgit Fischer-Schmidt 34 Germany GER
5 Susanne Wiberg-Gunnarsson 32 Sweden SWE
6 Uschi Profanter 28 Austria AUT
7 Katrin Borchert 27 Australia AUS
8 Ingrid Haralamow-Raimann 29 Switzerland SUI
9 Aneta Pastuszka-Konieczna 18 Poland POL
5 h2 r3/4 Ruth Nortje 29 South Africa RSA
6 h1 r3/4 Belén Sánchez 23 Spain ESP
6 h2 r3/4 Delphine Van De Venne 21 Belgium BEL
7 h1 r3/4 Andrea Dallaway 25 Great Britain GBR
7 h2 r3/4 Lior Carmi 20 Israel ISR
8 h1 r3/4 Anne Michaut 23 France FRA
8 h2 r3/4 Sayuri Maruyama 20 Japan JPN
9 h1 r3/4 Gao Beibei 21 China CHN
9 h2 r3/4 Traci Phillips 33 United States USA
5 h2 r2/4 Irina Lyalina 28 Uzbekistan UZB
6 h1 r2/4 Érika Durón 21 Mexico MEX
6 h2 r2/4 Raluca Ioniţă 20 Romania ROU
7 h1 r2/4 Pavlína Jobánková 22 Czech Republic CZE
8 h2 r1/4 Heidi Lehrer 30 Antigua and Barbuda ANT