Canoe/Kayak Sprint wrap up
11 August 2012
CANOE/KAYAK SPRINT: The canoe sprint regatta at Eton Dorney unearthed four new superstars of the sport with the men’s K4 1000m crew producing the race of their lives to snare gold ahead of highly credentialed European field.
Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear led from start to finish in their final and became the first Australian men’s K4 1000m to taste Olympic gold.
The 2011 world championship silver medallists were emphatic in their performance and joined Ken Wallace (Beijing 2008) and Clint Robinson (Barcelona 1992) as Australia’s only gold medallists in the sport.
Tate Smith, 30, the front man in the crew, summed up the feeling of all four at the magnitude of their achievement.
"It means everything to us,” Smith said. “It's the biggest rush of our lives, to get that result. It's so rewarding.
“It's massive to us because we have put so much into it. We are Olympic champions now. I have dreamt about this since I was 10 years old and I can't believe I have this around my neck.”
The men’s K4 1000m result was the standout performance of an other wise quiet regatta for the Australian boats.
David Smith also combined for a fourth place with Beijing gold medallist Ken Wallace in the men’s K2 1000m.
The pair stormed home from eighth place in the final 250m but ran out of time to also position themselves on the medal dais.
The only other Australian boat to make a final was the men’s K2 200m duo of Stephen Bird and Jesse Phillips, who recorded an excellent sixth place finish on the final day of competition.
David Polglase in London