C1 legend Tony Estanguet goes out on top

Legendary French C1 triple Olympic Champion Tony Estanguet, 34, has today announced his retirement from canoe slalom. He truly leaves on top with gold in London his third Olympic gold, in addition to his three individual C1 World Championship titles, 2 World Championship C1 team medals, twice World Cup Champion and three times European Champion. He was the French flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

C1 legend Tony Estanguet (photo courtesy of AE Photos http://www.aephotos.co.uk)

His career at the top of the sport started more than 18 years ago competing against Michal Martikan as juniors in 1994, then with his first senior medal at the Tres Coroas World’s in Brazil back in 1997 (silver). He will be deeply missed at the Troja World’s in Prague next year. He goes out with legend status to rival American’s Lugbill & Hearn.

I was lucky enough to meet Tony a few times, watch him train and compete. He has an exciting smooth style to his paddling. I am sure we will still see him on the bank at the World’s and Rio Olympics helping the next generation of paddlers. He has been elected on to the IOC Athletes’ Commission on which he will serve for eight years. Good luck Tony in your next endeavours.


Gold Day for GB Canoeing in C2 – France win second gold in K1W

This evening the pictures should do the talking

David, Richard, Tim, Etienne, Peter & Pavol (photo courtesy of Sportscene)

Two British C2 crews have beaten the formidable favourites the Hochschorner’s. At the time when the Hochschorner’s won their last Olympic gold, Great Britain did not qualify a C2 crew for Beijing. Olympic Gold in canoe slalom has been a dream. A GB World Championship or Olympic gold medal in C2 has been a vision. Dreams can come true. Congratulations Tim, Etienne, David & Richard for delivering gold and silver for TeamGB, GBCanoeing and the sport of Canoe Slalom and canoeing in general. Phenominal achievement. London2012 at Lee Valley has left a spectacular legacy.

Tim & Etienne with gold and Richard and David with Olympic silver in C2 (photo courtesy of AE Photos http://www.aephotos.co.uk)

Here are links to the C2 finals and K1W finals.

Penalties played a significant part in both competitions today and in the ladies saw four World Champions fail to make the podium (Hilgertova, Schornberg, Dukatova & Kuhnle). Huge congratulations to Emilie Fer who secured France’s second Olympic canoe slalom gold medal at Lee Valley. 18 year old Jessica Fox from Australia took an inspiring silver medal and Spain’s Maialen Chorraut took bronze.

Jessica Fox Australia, Emilie Fer France & Maialen Chourraut (photo courtesy of Sportscene)

Tomorrow a round up of what this means to the Sport of Canoe Slalom in the UK and a tribute to the 800 people who made Lee Valley voted as the best Olympic venue, stunning TV and delivered Great Britain’s first Olympic gold medal