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Prskavec entered the Olympic Games Rio 2016 as the reigning world and European champion, as well as a two-time winner of the Czech Canoeist of the Year award. Although the substantial expectation of further success on the hilltop waters of Rio at the Deodoro X-Park may have initially unsettled the Czech in the final run as he hit a gate early on, Prskavec ably recovered to power to the finish in 88.99 seconds (including two penalty seconds). Crucially, he was a fraction ahead of fourth-placed Hannes Aigner, from Germany, and just 0.46 seconds behind eventual gold medallist Joe Clarke of Great Britain.
“I didn’t know it was that close but now I think I deserved it after touching that gate and speeding at the bottom of the course,” he admitted after securing his podium place. I think I couldn’t go much faster, and being in a bronze position even with the touch is pretty cool.”
They are big parental shoes to fill, and ones that Prskavec Jr. has already grown out of with his stellar performance in Rio. What’s more, he becomes only the second Czech to win an Olympic medal in the men’s K1 event, following on from Vavřinec Hradilek’s silver four years ago in London. And while Prskavec is clearly in his element on water, he still manages to keep his feet on the ground when evaluating the reasons behind his success.
“I had four people here: my mum, my father, and then my girlfriend and grandmother,” he said. “They got me in such a good condition here. I am so happy that they came and this medal is not only mine, it is also theirs.