Host City: Beijing, China
Venue(s): Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park, Mapo, Shunyi
Date Started: August 11, 2008
Date Finished: August 12, 2008
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.
|11||Vavřinec Hradílek||21||Czech Republic||CZE|
|15||Campbell Walsh||30||Great Britain||GBR|
|20||Scott Parsons||29||United States||USA|