Adam Kiss triumphs in a great K-1 sprint final
The gold medal in the K-1 sprint went to Hungary: Adam Kiss earned it when he outraced Belgium’s Vangeel in another grand Youth Olympic finale. Local canoeist Valentin Rossi lived up to expectations and won a bronze medal in Puerto Madero. Elsewhere, Uzbekistan’s Gulbakhor Fayzeva was imperious as she won gold in the women's canoe head to head sprint final.
Kiss was relieved after the competition: “Maybe you don’t see it but I’m happy. I’ve been searching for this a long time. After thinking about the competition for so long, now I’ll be able to enjoy the Olympic Village and get to know some of Buenos Aires.”
Argentinian flags were waving again all day in Dock 3 in Urban Park. After the host country’s strong rowing performance, most eyes were on Valentin Rossi. After finishing fourth at the world qualifier in Barcelona, Rossi had come with the goal of making it to the podium at Buenos Aires 2018. In the morning he finished third with a time of 1 minute 40.93 seconds. Only two men managed to beat him: Czech Republic’s Tomas Hradil and Belgium’s Jules Vangeel. In the afternoon the Argentine triumphed over South Africa’s Pierre Thomas van de Westhuyzen in the quarterfinals, but in the semi-final Kiss smashed his chances at gold. Finally, there was still a medal in store for Rossi when he beat Poland’s Wojciech Pilarz in what was clearly his best race of the day.
“I’ve been preparing to win a medal since 2014. I want to thank the support of family because they take care of me so that I can be a better athlete. The fans gave me the final push. It was an experience that I will never forget. This is something incredible and I feel so proud,” Rossi said.
Canoe competition will take a break on Sunday, with slalom events starting on Monday.
Sixteen-year-old showed no mercy for her Hungarian opponent Laura Gonczol. With a time of 2:06.280, she beat her rival by almost ten seconds. Fayzeva had set the fastest time in the morning qualifiers, then won the round of 16, quarter and semi-finals, dominating Kazakhstan's Elnura Nurlanova, who was then beaten for the bronze medal by Mexican Stephanie Angel Rodriguez Guzman.