Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): Lee Valley White Water Centre, Waltham Cross
Date Started: July 30, 2012
Date Finished: August 2, 2012
The champion in the kayak singles from the past two Olympics, Slovakian Elena Kaliská, did not reappear to defend her title in 2012, having lost her spot in the event to Jana Dukatova, the 2006 World Champion, during the trials. Dukatova was ranked number one in the world and was a favorite going into the event. The reigning World Champion was Corinna Kuhnle of Austria, who first won the title in 2010. Other notable participants included Germany’s Jasmin Schornberg, the 2009 World Champion, Štěpánka Hilgertová of the Czech Republic, who had competed in the event in every edition of the Games since 1992 (winning in 1996 and 2000), and Australian Jessica Fox, daughter of former World Champions Myriam and Richard Fox.
In this relatively more open field, each of the rounds had its share of unpredicted results. The fastest time in the heats came from Spain’s Maialen Chourraut, a silver and bronze medalist at the World Championships in 2009 and 2011 respectively, with Britain’s Lizzie Neave and Italy’s [Clara Giai] coming in second and third. In the semifinals, however, both Neave and Giai were eliminated on penalties in a round won by Poland’s low-ranked Natalia Pacierpnik. In the final Fox, who had the best time in the semifinals before penalties, went third and had an outstanding run, but was bested by France’s Émilie Fer, another surprise paddler whose only World Championship medal was gold in the K-1 Team Event in 2006. Third place was taken by Chourraut who, after near misses in the men’s C-1 and K-1 events, captured Spain’s first Olympic medal in canoe slalom. Hilgertová finished in fourth, 3.26 seconds off the podium, Dukatova in sixth, and Kuhnle in a distant last place in the final, having accrued 52 penalty points over the course.
|4||Štěpánka Hilgertová||44||Czech Republic||CZE|
|12||Lizzie Neave||25||Great Britain||GBR|
|14||Luuka Jones||23||New Zealand||NZL|
|15||Clara Giai Pron||19||Italy||ITA|
|17||Caroline Queen||20||United States||USA|
|18||Ella Nicholas||21||Cook Islands||COK|