Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Lagoa Stadium, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 17, 2016
Date Finished: August 18, 2016
With limited consistency in the World and European Championship results in the last four years, and defending champion Russia not present for the event in Rio due to its doping scandal, the Menâs K-2 200, particularly given its short distance, was one of the most open contests in sprint canoeing. The reigning World Champions were Hungaryâs [SÃ¡ndor TÃ³tka] and [PÃ©ter MolnÃ¡r], while their European equivalents were [NebojÅ¡a GrujiÄ] and [Marko NovakoviÄ] of Serbia, who were also the 2014 World Champions, the 2015 European runners-up, and the 2015 World bronze medalists. One other duo of note was Germanyâs [Tom Liebscher] and [Ronald Rauhe], who were the 2014 and 2015 European Champions, the 2014 World runners-up, and the 2016 European bronze medalists. Rauhe had a long history in the sport and Olympic medals that spanned back to bronze in the K-2 500 in 2000 and included gold in the K-2 500 in 2004.
None of these individuals, however, qualified directly for the finals. Lithuania, represented by 2014 and 2015 European bronze medalists [Aurimas Lankas] and [Edvinas Ramanauskas], won the first opening heat while [Cristian Toro] and [SaÃºl Craviotto] of Spain took the second. Spain had not reached the World podium in the K-2 200 since 2011, but Craviotto was a decorated canoeist who was a 2008 Olympic Champion in the K2-500 and the 2012 runner-up in the K-1 200. Hungary then won the first semifinal, while Germany and Serbia placed second and third respectively behind [Liam Heath] and [Jon Schofield] of Great Britain, the 2012 Olympic bronze medalists and 2013 World runners-up. In the mad rush of the final, the Spanish duo came out in front to win gold convincingly, but careful analysis of the results was required to determine the placement of the next six positions, as only 0.331 seconds separated them all. In the end, Great Britain nabbed silver 0.014 seconds ahead of Lithuania, who in turn captured bronze by finishing 0.03 seconds in front of Hungary. Craviotto would add to his Olympic medals two days later by taking bronze in the K-1 200.