Host City: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Venue(s): Lagoa Stadium, Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon, Rio de Janeiro
Date Started: August 15, 2016
Date Finished: August 16, 2016
Germanyâs [Franziska Weber] and [Tina Dietze] had pulled a surprising upset over Hungary in the Womenâs K-2 500 at the 2012 Olympic Games and had continued their success by winning the 2013 World Championships. Since then, however, they had only managed bronze at the 2015 World Championships and silver at the 2013 European Champions (Germany had also won silver in 2016, but with a different crew). They were therefore prime targets for the new Hungarian duo of [Gabriella SzabÃ³] and [Danuta KozÃ¡k] who, together, possessed 32 Olympic, World, and European Championship titles. Most recently, they had been the 2014 and 2015 World Champions and the 2014 and 2016 European Champions. While these two nations were the strong favorites for gold, Polandâs [Karolina Naja] and [Beata MikoÅajczyk] were contenders for the final podium spot. In addition to being the bronze medalists from London, the duo had been bronze medalists at the 2013 and 2014 World Championships, the 2013 and 2015 European Champions, and the 2014 European runners-up. Finally, Serbia had posted good results over the last few years and sent two decorated and experienced athletes, [Nikolina Moldovan] and [Milica StaroviÄ], to Rio.
As expected, Germany and Hungary qualified automatically for the final in the preliminaries and Poland was victorious its semifinal heat. The other was won by [Nadezhda Lepeshko] and [Marina Litvinchuk] of Belarus, the 2016 European bronze medalists. The final delivered on its promise for excitement as Germany and Hungary battled for gold down to the line, with the latter coming out ahead by only 0.051 seconds. Poland, which had kept pace for much of the race, slowed near the end and settled for bronze.