Saturday, August 23, 2008

Preview: Canada's kayaker van Koeverden eyes title defence

Adam van Koeverden of Canada is looking forward to retaining his title in the men's kayak single 500 meters on Saturday, the second and final day of canoeing flatwater competitions at the Beijing Games.

Van Koeverden is a strong favorite for the K1 500 meters race. He has been unbeaten so far this season and beat his own world best to set a new one in the heat. Tim Brabants of Britain, who won the K1 1,000m gold on Friday, and Eirik Larsen of Norway will be his main rivals.

In the men's canoe single 500m, Attila Sandor Vajda of Hungary will seek his second gold medal at Beijing Games after claiming the C1 1,000m title on Friday. He will be pushed hard by Athens silver medalist David Cal of Spain. Cal failed to retain his title in the C1 1,000m with a second finish.

In the women's kayak single 500m, Katalin Kovas of Hungary will be out to claim the only major gold medal not already in her trophy cabinet. Her major rivals will be Katrin Wanger-Augustin of Germany and Josefa Iden of Italy. China's Zhong Hongyan could also stand on the podium

In men's kayak double 500m, Germany's Ronald Rauhe and Tim Wieskotter is the strong favorite. Belarus, Spain, France, and Italy are the main opponents after staging good performances in the heats.

In the men's C2 500m, Chinese crew Yang Wenjun and Meng Guanliang was the main gold medal contender. They finished first in two heats and got their title defence to a strong start on Tuesday. Russia, Germany, and Belarus could have a podium finish.

In the women's K2 500m, Katalin Kovas and Natasa Janic will be aiming at the title, but they will be challenged by world champions Fanny Fischer and Nicole Reinhardt. Poland or France could win a medal.

Source: Xinhua

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