Olympics Summer

Canada's Mark de Jonge wins bronze in men's kayak

Canadian kayaker Mark de Jonge has won bronze in the K-1 200-metre race Saturday at the Olympic Games. The 28-year-old from Halifax won both his heat and semifinal Friday to advance to today's final on the last day of canoe-kayak competition at Eton Dorney.

Equals nation's medal total from Beijing at 18

Canada's Mark de Jonge paddles on his way to finishing third in the men's kayak single 200-metre final Saturday at the London Games. (Francisco Leong/Reuters)

Canadian kayaker Mark de Jonge has won bronze in the K-1 200-metre race Saturday at the Olympic Games.

The 28-year-old from Halifax won both his heat and semifinal Friday to advance to today's final on the last day of canoe-kayak competition at Eton Dorney.

"I wasn't nervous. I felt comfortable and I felt so much support from back home," de Jonge said. "It was a good race. It was not my perfect race, but I am so happy to get a medal."

De Jonge's Olympic dream was almost derailed in April when he broke a finger.

The muscular kayaker dropped an 80-pound dumbbell on his hand when he lost balance during a workout in Florida.

Canada's chef de mission Mark Tewksbury congratulated de Jonge on making the podium. 

"Mark de Jonge showed the world what he, and what Canadian athletes, are made of," Tewksbury said. "He demonstrated so much power and determination and speed to capture a bronze medal and Canadians can all be proud of his result today."

Britain's Ed McKeever won the gold and Spain's Saul Craviotto Rivero took the silver.

Canada's Cochrane, Fournel finish 7th

Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko of Russia won gold in the inaugural men's 200-metre K-2 at the Olympic canoe sprint regatta on Saturday.

The Russians, who were the quickest qualifiers from the semifinals, won in a time of 33.507 seconds. Raman Piatrushenka and Vadzim Makhneu of Belarus won the silver medal and Liam Heath and Jon Schofield of Britain took bronze.

Hugues Fournel of Lachine, Que., and Ryan Cochrane of Windsor, N.S., finished seventh.

"We are leaving with a ton of experience," Fournel said. "I am a little disappointed, but it is hard to feel that way when I am so happy and proud of Mark de Jonge for winning a medal. He is my best friend and part of my family."

The youngest pair in the eight-team final, Postrigay and Dyachenko won a World Cup event in Duisburg in May but came into 2012 without any pedigree.

Arnaud Hybois and Sebastien Jouve won world titles in 2010 and 2011 but they finished fourth Saturday.

The London Games marks the first time 200-metre races have been staged at an Olympics, replacing the 500.

McCoombs places 5th in B final

Yuri Cheban of Ukraine won gold in the inaugural men's 200-metre C-1 at the Olympic canoe sprint regatta on Saturday, adding to the world title he captured in 2009.

Cheban made a great start and held firm to cross the line in 42.291 seconds at Dorney Lake, just ahead of Jevgenij Shuklin of Lithuania. Ivan Shtyl of Russia took the bronze.

Jason McCoombs of Dartmouth, N.S., finished fifth in the B final.

Cheban became the first person to win the C-1 200 title at a summer games, with the distance new to the Olympic program replacing the 500.

It's the second Olympic medal for the 26-year-old Ukrainian, who won bronze in the discontinued 500-meter C-1 at the Beijing Games in 2008.

The final was held without reigning world and European champion Valentin Demyanenko of Azerbaijan, who didn't make it out of his heat.

With files from The Associated Press

now