Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Eton Dorney, Windsor
Date Started: August 6, 2012
Date Finished: August 8, 2012
Attila Vajda of Hungary was the defending Olympic and reigning World Champion in the men's C-1 1000 but, even with these titles, and another World Championship victory from 2007, he had his work cut out for him as the favorite in the race. His most notable challengers would be Spain's David Cal, the 2004 Olympic champion and runner-up in Beijing and the most recent World Championships, and Uzbek Vadim Menkov, the 2009 and 2010 World Champion. Also a factor was Sebastian Brendel of Germany, winner of the last two European Championships in the event.
In the heats Vajda had only the fifth-fastest time, outpaced by Cal, Mark Oldershaw of Canada, Brendel, Mathieu Goubel of France, and José Cristóbal of Mexico, the 2006 World Champion. Vajda fared better in the semifinals, but still behind Goubel, Brendel, and Oldershaw. With Cal and Menkov surviving to the finals as well, it was certain that the race for the medals would be an exciting and unpredictable one. In the final, Goubel and Brendel took an early lead, going neck and neck for the first quarter of the race and leading the rest of the pack. At the halfway mark Menkov had crossed the gap and was closing in on Brendel as Goubel began fade. By 750 metres Menkov was in front and it seemed as if the podium spots would be decided by the finishing order of these three competitors. At least three canoeists, however, unleashed fantastic sprints in the final end to clinch their medals. Brendel powered past a tiring Menkov, catapulting ahead of his competitors and earning the gold medal. Oldershaw meanwhile, looked poised to take silver as he powered through to the finish in a sprint but Cal, coming from behind with an incredible charge, not only overtook Menkov and Goubel, but passed Oldershaw as well to finish runner-up.
For Cal it was a fifth Olympic medal – in addition to his two in the C-1 1000, he also had silver in the C-1 1500 from 2004 and 2008 – which earned him the title of Spain's most medalled Olympian. Oldershaw, meanwhile, was the fifth member of his family to compete at the Olympic Games, following his grandfather Bert, father Scott, and uncles Dean and Reed. In this, his second Olympics, after having been eliminated in the semifinals of the C-1 500 at the 2008 Games, he became the first member of his family to win an Olympic medal. Defending Olympic champion Vajda, meanwhile, placed only sixth among the eight canoeists in the final.
|15||Richard Jefferies||25||Great Britain||GBR|