Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Eton Dorney, Windsor
Date Started: August 10, 2012
Date Finished: August 11, 2012
The favorite going into the C-1 200, a new event at the 2012 Summer Olympics, was Valentin Demyanenko, formerly of Ukraine and now competing for Azerbaijan, who had three World (2005, 2009, and 2011) and two European (2009 and 2011) Championship titles to his name. He seemed to be the strongest competitor going into the event but, in a race as unpredictable as the C-1 200, all three podium spots were up for grabs. His greatest rival was Russia’s Ivan Shtyl, who could claim the 2010 edition of this event among his six World Championship titles. Lithuanian Jevgenijus Šuklinas was another medal favorite, having won the European Championships in 2007 and 2010.
In perhaps the most shocking result in canoeing at the 2012 Games, Demyanenko became the only one of the 25 canoeists eliminated in the heats of the C-1 200. Despite four other paddlers posting slower times, Demyanenko was in the only heat of seven participants in a qualification round where the top six would advance, and he finished last. With rookie Alfonso Benavides of Spain posting the fast time, the race was assured to be the exciting spectacle that the officials had hoped for when adding the 200 metre events to the Olympic program. Nonetheless, Shtyl emerged as the new favorite by having the quickest finish in the semifinals, but still less than three-tenths of a second faster than Benavides. In the final, however, it was Ukraine’s Yuriy Cheban who set the pace, bolting out of the start and, like the earlier men’s K-1 200 final, never being seriously challenged. Cheban, the 2007 World Champion in the event, won gold in his third Olympic appearance; he had competed in the C-1 500 and 1000 in 2004 and 2008 and had earned a bronze medal in the former discipline in Beijing. Šuklin paddled a strong race and earned silver, with Shtyl finding a late burst of energy to shut out Benavides for the bronze.
|17||Richard Jefferies||25||Great Britain||GBR|