Another thrilling spectacle here at Lee Valley for the canoe slalom K1M semi finals. Reigning World Champion Peter Kauzer from Slovakia hit gate 9 and then blistered down the rest of the course. he finished with 96.02 including his two second penalty. Based on the final split he made up 2 seconds in the last 5 gates before the finish. Clear his time would have been an awesomely quick 94.02 seconds. He will start last in the final this afternoon.
Through to the final are: Aigner, Hernanz, Hradilek, Kauzer, Polaczyk, Molmenti, Oblinger, Daille, Boukpeti and Yazawa. This marks Japan’s first progression to an Olympic final. The run times were comparable with yesterday’s C1 showing how tight and technical this course is. Many paddlers have lost a second or two just above gate 10 by crossing just a little too high, including Hounslow. Three paddlers came unstuck incurring 50 second penalties. Hanes Aigner from Germany who was last down in the semi continued his excellent form, although he picked up a 2 second penalty on gate 22. Nevertheless, he is safely through to what is expected to be a nail-biting final.
Further disappointment for TeamGB with Richard Hounslow failing to make the top 10 for the final. Richard incurred a 2 second penalty for touching gate 19, which was clearly a shock for him as he crossed the line and looked up at the scoreboard. Richard and David will now re-group with their coach Nick Smith to focus on the upcoming semi-final in C2 tomorrow. This is a class in which Great Britain has never previously medaled at Olympics but we do have the advantage of two boats having qualified for the semi-finals.
Full results of the semi-final and finals in K1M plus a preview of the final day of competition to come later tonight.