Doriane Delassus of France and Lan Tominc of Slovenia took the last canoe gold medals on offer at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 on Tuesday 16 October.
Delassus triumphed in the women’s canoe obstacle slalom, topping the podium from Poland’s Zola Lewandowski and Emanuela Luknarova, while Tominc took the honours in the men’s kayak obstacle slalom, beating China’s Changheng Guan in the final, with France’s Tom Bouchardon landing the bronze.
“I feel so happy at winning a gold for France,” said Delassus, after posting a time of 1:26.80 to edge out Lewandowski in the women’s final. “This is a reward for all the training I do in my canoe every day. I’ve had my sister, my aunt and my friends cheering me on here in Buenos Aires.
Tominc had been tipped for men’s gold by his quarter-final victim, Valentin Rossi of Argentina, who had this to say about the Slovenian: “He’s a star. I’m sure he’s going to be fighting it out in the final with Guan.”
And fight it out they did, with Tominc making the gold his in a time of 1:08.950, nearly a second faster than the Chinese, who had gone quickest in qualifying.
“I am so incredibly happy,” said the new champion afterwards. “I’ve been preparing for this event for a year. My grandparents travelled all the way from Slovenia to support me.”
Home canoeist Rossi, who won bronze in the kayak head to head sprint earlier in the Games, finished fifth. “I’m happy with that because the slalom is not my speciality,” he said. “What stood out for me was the support of the fans. I’ve also met people from other countries, and I was delighted with my bronze. I made history in this sport.”