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|