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Canoeing at the 2008 Beijing Summer Games:

Men's Kayak Singles, Slalom

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Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 11, 2008
Date Finished: August 12, 2008

Gold: GER Alexander Grimm
Silver: FRA Fabien Lefèvre
Bronze: TOG Benjamin Boukpeti

Summary

Only two former Olympic medalists, both from 2004, travelled to the 2008 edition to take part in the men’s K-1 slalom once again. Great Britain’s Campbell Walsh, the silver medalist, had since been the 2008 European champion, as well as the 2007 European and 2006 and 2007 World bronze medalist. Third-placed Fabien Lefèvre of France, meanwhile, had been the 2005 World runner-up. The only other recent World medalist at the Games was Peter Cibák of Slovakia, the 2005 bronze medalist, while the only other recent European medalists were Austria’s Helmut Oblinger, the 2005 champion, Slovenia’s Peter Kauzer, the 2005 and 2007 runner-up, and Italy’s Daniele Molmenti, the 2008 runner-up.

Kauzer, Lefèvre, and Molmenti were the top three canoeists in the qualifying round, while Oblinger was sixth, Walsh was ninth, and Cibák was eleventh. The Beijing Olympics introduced a one-round semi-final for the remaining 15 participants, which was won surprisingly by French-born Benjamin Boukpeti, who was representing Togo at the Games. Perhaps even more shocking was that Cibák, Kauzer, and Walsh were all eliminated. Boukpeti then surprised spectators even further by winning the first run ahead of Australia’s Warwick Draper and Lefèvre. Molmenti and Oblinger, meanwhile, were eighth and ninth respectively. It was Germany’s Alexander Grimm, however, who ended up taking the gold medal, being bumped up from fourth after the first run thanks to an excellent performance. Lefèvre’s second-place finish was good enough for silver overall, as Draper was eighth in the second-run, while Boukpeti’s third was enough to allow him to hang on to bronze and become Togo’s first ever Olympic medalist in any sport.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal
1 Alexander Grimm 21 Germany GER Gold
2 Fabien Lefèvre 26 France FRA Silver
3 Benjamin Boukpeti 27 Togo TOG Bronze
4 Eoin Rheinisch 28 Ireland IRL
5 Warwick Draper 31 Australia AUS
6 David Ford 41 Canada CAN
7 Helmut Oblinger 35 Austria AUT
8 Dariusz Popiela 23 Poland POL
9 Robert Bouten 23 Netherlands NED
10 Daniele Molmenti 24 Italy ITA
11 Vavřinec Hradílek 21 Czech Republic CZE
12 Peter Cibák 27 Slovakia SVK
13 Peter Kauzer 24 Slovenia SLO
14 Guillermo Díez-Canedo 25 Spain ESP
15 Campbell Walsh 30 Great Britain GBR
16 Pablo McCandless 26 Chile CHI
17 Mike Kurt 28 Switzerland SUI
18 Kazuki Yazawa 19 Japan JPN
19 Atanas Nikolovski 28 Macedonia MKD
20 Scott Parsons 29 United States USA
21 Ding Fuxue 28 China CHN