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A new world

Canoe Sprint

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Competitors race on flat water in kayaks or canoes in this sport, which made its Olympic debut at the Berlin 1936 Games. Twelve gold medals – eight for men and four for women – are up for grabs on Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas.
Spectator's Guide - Canoe Sprint
  • Canoe Sprint

Countries

Athletes

Events

48 248 12

Schedule & Results

Schedule & Results

Canoe Sprint

Select the time zone:
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August21
Date Event Status
  • OBOlympic Best

About

About

Aim of the game

In canoes or kayaks of various lengths and crew sizes, athletes must complete a straight course in the shortest possible time

Why should you watch this?

Canoe sprint is all about combining explosive body strength with control in order to accelerate faster than the rest – and all this will happen in the inspirational setting of Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas

International Federation

ICF

Olympic debut

Berlin 1936

Rules
  • Beam

    Beam

    The widest part of a canoe

  • Gunwale

    Gunwale

    The upper edge of a canoe’s side (pronounced “gunnel”)

  • Wash

    Wash

    The rough or broken water left behind a moving boat

Impress your friends

  • The first canoe sprint competitions date from the middle of the 19th century

    The first canoe sprint competitions date from the middle of the 19th century

  • Before its introduction to the Olympic programme in Berlin 1936, sprint canoeing featured at the Paris 1924 Games as a demonstration sport

    Before its introduction to the Olympic programme in Berlin 1936, sprint canoeing featured at the Paris 1924 Games as a demonstration sport

  • Women's events were introduced at the London 1948 Games

    Women's events were introduced at the London 1948 Games

  • At Seoul 1988, Greg Barton (USA) and Grant Davies (Australia) provided one of the sport's most exciting finishes: the North American won the K–1 1000m by less than 1cm

    At Seoul 1988, Greg Barton (USA) and Grant Davies (Australia) provided one of the sport's most exciting finishes: the North American won the K–1 1000m by less than 1cm

  • At London 2012, New Zealander Lisa Carrington won the K–1 200m to become the first non-European women's Olympic canoe sprint champion

    At London 2012, New Zealander Lisa Carrington won the K–1 200m to become the first non-European women's Olympic canoe sprint champion

  • German paddlers have won the most medals in the canoe sprint, with 40 golds, 29 silvers and 26 bronzes in the sport's Olympic history

    German paddlers have won the most medals in the canoe sprint, with 40 golds, 29 silvers and 26 bronzes in the sport's Olympic history

  • Birgit Fisher (Germany) is the athlete with the highest number of Olympic medals: 8 golds and 4 silvers in a 24-year Olympic career between 1980 and 2004

    Birgit Fisher (Germany) is the athlete with the highest number of Olympic medals: 8 golds and 4 silvers in a 24-year Olympic career between 1980 and 2004

  • During the event, the distance between canoes must be at least 5m to avoid turbulence from one boat affecting another

    During the event, the distance between canoes must be at least 5m to avoid turbulence from one boat affecting another

  • Boats are identified by the letter 'K' (kayak) and 'C' (canoe), followed by a number indicating how many paddlers there are, and the distance of the event

    Boats are identified by the letter 'K' (kayak) and 'C' (canoe), followed by a number indicating how many paddlers there are, and the distance of the event

Course

The competition is always held on calm waters with 200m, 500m and 1000m-long courses, where each boat has its own lane marked by white and yellow buoys (until the final 100m which are marked by red buoys).

Start

The starting line is marked by electronic sensors.

Canoes

C-1

- Athletes rest on one knee and use just one single-bladed paddle

- The canoe is 5.2m long and weighs at least 14kg

C-2
- Athletes rest on one knee and use single-bladed paddles      

- The canoe is 6.5m long and weighs at least 20kg

Kayaks

K-1

- Athletes sit and use double-bladed paddles

- The kayak is up to 5.20m long and weighs at least 12kg

K-2

- Athletes sit and use double-bladed paddles  
- The kayak is up to 6.5m long and weighs at least 18kg

K-4

- Athletes sit and use double-bladed paddles  
- The kayak is up to 11m long and weighs at least 30kg

Stats

Top Medalists

Men
SWE
Gert Fredriksson
6 1 1 8
ROU
Ivan Patzaichin
4 3 0 7
NOR
Knut Holmann
3 2 1 6
Women
GER
Birgit Fischer
8 4 0 12
HUN
Katalin Kovacs
3 5 0 8
SWE
Agneta Andersson
3 2 2 7

Countries

Athletes

Athletes & Teams

Gender

Gender
Woman 37
Men 63
Women
Men

Age Range

Age Range
Under 15 0
16 - 20 7
21 - 25 33
26 - 30 38
31 - 40 21
Over 40 0
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