Sydney's Games: A Bluffers Guide

  • Share
  • Read Later


Europe is the Olympic powerhouse in both canoe and kayak events.


Four-time Olympic medalist Knut Holmann of Norway will be trying to clinch the single kayak (K1) 500 m and 1,000 m. In the former, he'll have to fend off Hungarian world champion Akos Vereckei and Olympic champion Antonio Rossi of Italy. In the 1,000 m, Holmann will face German world champion Lutz Liwowski and Australia's dual Olympic medalist Clint Robinson. In the two-man kayak (K2), Germany and Poland are the top teams over 500 m, while Atlanta champs Italy look hard to beat in the 1,000 m. In the K4, Germany will be hard to beat.

To repeat his single canoe (C1) double at Atlanta-gold in the 500 m and the 1,000 m-the Czech Republic's Martin Doktor will have to outpace Russia's world champion Maxim Opalev.

If Germany's Birgit Fischer adds to her eight medals (including five gold), she'll become her sport's most decorated Olympian. But she'll be under pressure in the single kayak from Hungary's Olympic champ Rita Koban, Canada's triple 1997 world champion Caroline Brunet and Australia's World Cup holder Katrin Borchert. In the K4, Germany and Hungary will be the teams to watch.


Slovakian Michal Martikan won his country's first Olympic gold medal-in the single canoe (C1)-at Atlanta. In Sydney, he'll have to shoot the rapids faster than world champion Emmanuel Brugvin of France. In the men's C2, Slovakian twins and World Cup champions Pavol and

Peter Hochschorner will have to out-paddle defending Olympic gold medalists Frank Adisson and Wilfrid Forgues of France and world champions Marek Jiras and Tomas Mader of the Czech Republic.

Czech Olympic and world K1 champion Stepanka Hilgertova will start favorite ahead of Germany's Susanne Hirt.


Men's sprint

  • K1 500m Oct. 1
  • K1 1000m Sept. 30
  • K2 500m Oct. 1
  • K2 1000m Sept. 30
  • K4 1000m Sept. 30
  • C1 500m Oct. 1
  • C1 1000m Sept. 30
  • C2 500m Oct. 1
  • C2 1000m Sept. 30

Men's Slalom

  • C1 Sept. 18
  • C2 Sept. 20

Women's Sprint

  • K1 500m Oct. 1
  • K2 500m Oct. 1
  • K4 500m Sept. 30

Women's Slalom

  • K1 Sept. 18