Mauritius’ Saramandif makes history, Slovakia’s Luknarova in a class of her own
Terence Saramandif of Mauritius claimed the men’s canoe obstacle slalom gold at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 on Monday 15 October, while Slovakia’s Emanuela Luknarova outpaced the rest of the field to win the women’s kayak obstacle slalom.
Saramandif secured his country’s first ever Youth Olympic Games gold by completing the course at Dique 3, Puerto Maduro, in a time of 1:18.80, giving him victory by more than four seconds from New Zealand’s Finn Anderson. Spain’s Yoel Becerra Bernárdez completed the podium.
The Mauritian was cheered to victory by his family and the 20 other members of his national delegation. Speaking afterwards, he said: “This is the end of a long process. I’ve trained hard over this last year and I prepared for a tough competition. I’ve been doing slalom since I was nine. My whole family came to Buenos Aires to support me. My aim now is to help develop canoeing in my country.”
The opening day of the slalom events also brought gold for Slovakia’s Luknarova, who clocked a time of 1:18.25 to beat France’s Doriane Delassus by over a second and a half, with Chinese Taipei’s Tzu-Hsuan Lai taking the bronze. Luknarova was in commanding form throughout the day, winning all her races.