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Rio 2016 Olympics: Know your sport — Canoeing

Canoeing has been a part of Olympic games since 1936 Berlin Games, though it featured as a demonstration sport at the Paris 1924 Games.

Written by Saundarya Mehra |
Updated: August 3, 2016 6:02:40 pm
Rio 2016 Olympics, Rio 2016 Olympics news, Rio 2016 Olympics updates, Canoeing, Canoeing rules, Kayaking, Kayaking rules, Canoeing news, sports news, sports Slalom course comprises an artificial, 250m stretch of white-water. (Source: Reuters)

Sports Basics:

Canoeing has been a part of modern Olympic games since the 1936 Berlin Games. There are two categories in canoeing: Flat water and White water. Categories are further divided into disciplines such as Canoe Sprint, Paracanoe, Canoe Marathon, Canoe Polo and Dragon Boat in Flat Water while Canoe Slalom, Wildwater Canoeing, Canoe Freestyle, Canoe Ocean Racing in white Water, but only Sprint and Slalom are included in the Olympic competition. There are two styles of canoe/ Kayak being used- with 1 or 2 canoers and Kayaks with 1,2 or 4 kayakers.


In 1924 in Paris, flat-water canoeing (Canoe Sprint) featured at the Games as a demonstration sport. But it was in 1936 at the Berlin Games, where Canoe and Kayak became full medal sports. Slalom discipline made its maiden appearance at the Munich 1972 Games. However Slalom racing was not competed in Barcelona Games but has been a part ever since. Women became a part of the sport in 1948 at the London Games and are only compete in the kayak event.


Sprint: Sprint category is held on calm waters with 200m, 500m and 1000m-long courses, where each boat has its own lane marked by white and yellow buoys. The starting line is marked by electronics. In Canoe category- Athletes participating in C-1 rest on one knee and use one single-bladed paddle while in C-2 category athletes rest on one knee and use single-bladed paddles. The canoe’s are 5.2m and 6.5m long respectively and at least weigh 14 kg – 20 kg.

Slalom: Slalom course comprises an artificial, 250m stretch of white-water. Canoe’s are minimum 3.5m long for C1 and 4.1 for C2. Participants use single-blade paddles while in Kayak, length is suppose to be at least 3.5m long and the competitors can use double-blade paddles. Competitors are penalised with time penalties for touching the gates (two seconds) or failing to pass through them (half a minute).


Canoe Sprint

– Men’s event: C-1 1000M (Canoe Single); C-1 200M (Canoe Single); C-2 1000M (Canoe Double); K-1 1000M (Kayak Single); K-1 200M (Kayak Single); K-2 1000M (Kayak Double); K-2 200M (Kayak Double); K-4 1000M (Kayak Four)

– Women’s event: K-1 200M (Kayak Single); K-1 500M (Kayak Single); K-2 500M (Kayak Double); K-4 500M (Kayak Four)

Canoe Slalom

– Men’s event: C-1 (Canoe Single); C-2 (Canoe Double); K-1 (Kayak Single)

– Women’s Event: K-1 (Kayak Single)

Featured Athletes:

Sprint: Josefa Idem (ITA)- 1G,2S,2B; Gert Fredriksson (SWE)-6G,1S,1B; Birgit Fischer (GER)- 8G,4S; Danuta Kozak (HUN)- 2G,1S

Slalom: Tony Estanguet (FRA)-3G; Michal Martian (SVK)- 2G,2S,1B; Etienne Stott (GBR) 1G; Benjamin Boukpeti (TOG)-1B; Tim Baillie (GBR)-1G; Jessica Fox (AUS)-1S

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