Tokyo Olympics 2020: Tom Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen win gold in men’s 1000m canoe sprint
Australian paddlers Tom Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen have shocked the world by upstaging Germany to claim a gold medal in the K2 1000-metre canoe sprint at the Tokyo Olympics.
The pair surged ahead to to win Thursday’s final, a day after they smashed the previous Olympic best time set by Italy way back in 1996 in Atlanta.
They narrowly held first place for the entire race, just ahead of Germany and crossed the line first in a nail-biting finish.
It is Australia’s 16th gold medal.
They had a time of 1:34.54, just a nose ahead of Germany’s Max Hoff and Jacob Schopf who crossed the line at 1:35.71.
The Czech Republic came in third and claim the bronze medal.
Just after the win, Green and van der Westhuyzen jumped into the water with their team to celebrate.
Only recently emerged from junior ranks and with international racing curtailed for the past two years by COVID-19, van der Westhuyzen said on Wednesday they weren’t sure how they would stack up.
“It’s our first international race as a K2 so we didn’t really know what to expect,” he said.
“We just had fun out there and did what we knew we could do in training, so we just had a good time and it was pretty cool to come away with an Olympic best.”
– With AAP