Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Lee Valley White Water Centre, Waltham Cross
Date Started: July 29, 2012
Date Finished: August 1, 2012
Neither the 2008 Olympic champion or runner-up, Germany’s [Alexander Grimm], nor France’s [Fabien Lefèvre] respectively, returned to defend their medals at the 2012 Summer Games. Grimm’s spot was taken by [Hannes Aigner], who had defeated the gold medalist in the trials for the Olympics, while Lefèvre met the same fate at the hands of [Etienne Daille]. Crowd favorite [Benjamin Boukpeti], the bronze medalist from 2008 and the first person to win an Olympic medal for Togo, did return, but was not viewed as a significant threat. This left the field somewhat more open, although Slovenia’s [Peter Kauzer], World Champion in 2009 and 2011, and [Daniele Molmenti], the 2010 World Champion, were seen as having an advantage in the field.
Aigner had the fastest time in the heats and the second-fastest in the semi-finals, although he dropped to fifth place after hitting a gate and incurring a two-second penalty. Kauzer won the semi-finals handily, emerging victorious even after a two-second penalty of his own. Boukpeti survived to the finals as well, but incurred 52 seconds worth of penalties after missing, and later hitting, a gate in a final run that would not have earned a medal even if it had been flawless. The Czech Republic’s [Vavřinec Hradílek] was only the third man to descend the course in the final, but managed a near flawless run that eventually garnered him a silver medal, bettering his 11th-place finish of 2008 and earning his country’s first medal of the Games. Only Molmenti bested his time, winning Italy’s first gold medal in canoe slalom since [Pierpaolo Ferrazzi’s] victory at the 1992 Games in the kayak singles, while Aigner took home the bronze.
|2||Vavřinec Hradílek||25||Czech Republic||CZE||Silver|
|12||Richard Hounslow||30||Great Britain||GBR|
|15||Mike Dawson||25||New Zealand||NZL|
|16||Scott Parsons||33||United States||USA|
|19||Hermann Ludwig Husslein||26||Thailand||THA|