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Gert Fredriksson won six gold medals in straight racing between 1948 and 1960.

The 16 events

Men: Straight racing: Canoe (Four events): C1 500m, C2 500m, C1 1000m, C2 1000m - Kayak (Five events): K1 500m, K2 500m, K1 1000m, K2 1000m, K4 1000m

Slalom: Canoe (Two events): C1, C2 - Kayak (One event) : K1

Women: Straight racing: Kayak (Three events): K1 500m, K2 500m, K4 500m

Slalom: Kayak (One event): K1

The format

Straight racing: Qualifying, repechages, semi-finals and final (nine boats).

Slalom: Qualifying over two runs, then semi-finals and final over one run. The times of the semi-finals and final will be combined to determine the winner.


1866: Creation of the first canoe club in London.

1924: Features as a demonstration sport at the Olympic Games in Paris.

1936: The canoe-kayak is officially included in the Olympic programme in Berlin (straight racing event).

1972: The slalom event appears in the Munich Games, but does not make another appearance until 20 years later in Barcelona (1992).

1976: The Olympic programme is given a radical overhaul. As of Montreal, for straight racing, four new events are introduced: K1 and K2 500m, C1 and C2 500m.


Gert Fredriksson (Sweden): The best. Six gold medals in straight racing between 1948 and 1960, incluing a hat-trick in the K1 1000m (1948, 1952, 1956). Also won seven world titles in K1.

Knut Holmann (Norway): Three Olympic gold medals in straight racing, including a double K1 500m - K1 1000m at Sydney 2000. 4 world titles in K1 1000m (1990, 1991, 1993, 1995).

Birgit Fischer (Germany): The most decorated. Eight Olympic gold medals in 24 years between 1980 and 2004, in K1, K2 and K4. Also won 27 world titles in K1, K2 and K4.

first published:July 31, 2008, 16:06 IST