Canada's Langlois, Fitzpatrick/Varga miss podiums in kayak and canoe finals
Canadian competitors happy with effort in first 'A' finals
Andréanne Langlois finished in ninth place in the women's K1 200m sprint final on Wednesday in Tokyo.
The kayaker from Trois-Rivières, Que., improved on her result at the Rio 2016 Games, where she finished in sixth place in the 'B' final, good for 14th overall.
Langlois had a strong start initially, but couldn't match a stacked field, which included New Zealand's Lisa Carrington who went on to win her third-consecutive Olympic gold medal in the event. Carrington will be the last champion in the event, which is being dropped for the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.
Langlois finished in 40.473 seconds — also an improvement from her 'B' final time in Rio de Janeiro.
Spain's Teresa Portela won the silver medal. Denmark's Emma Aastrand Jorgensen won bronze.
"It was not the best. I think I had a way better race to give," Langlois said after the race.
"Unfortunately, it happens. It's a 200 [metre], so it's short and if you miss a stroke, it's really going to hurt for the whole race."
Still, making the 'A' final — a first for the 28-year-old — was "pretty awesome," she said, having finished in third place in her semifinal race to qualify for the final.
"A little sad, but it's still good in my heart. The field is really strong but I did show my talent. I did surprise a couple people."
Michelle Russell of Fall River, N.S., raced in the 'B' final, finishing in a dead heat for fourth place with Serbia's
Milica Novakovic in 40.527 seconds.
Russell will also be racing in the K1 500m, and the K4 500m.
"I put a lot more focus and attention on the 500 [metre]. The 200 is just bonus at this point," Russell said.
"So I'm happy to translate what I've done here onto the 500."
What a close race: Andréanne Langlois of Canada came in ninth in the women's K-200 m single <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a><br><br>Watch: <a href="https://t.co/Pb4bfxXZ5J">https://t.co/Pb4bfxXZ5J</a><a href="https://twitter.com/CanoeKayakCAN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CanoeKayakCAN</a> <a href="https://t.co/AcU1PqOUDS">pic.twitter.com/AcU1PqOUDS</a>—@CBCOlympics
Fitzpatrick, Varga finish 6th in canoe doubles final
Connor Fitzpatrick of Dartmouth, N.S., and Roland Varga of Aurora, Ont., finished in sixth place in the men's canoe doubles 1,000-metre final.
The pair was Canada's first boat in the event since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where Andrew Russell and Gabriel Beauchesne-Sevigny also finished in sixth place.
The Olympic debutants kept stride in the first 50 metres, but a strong field — featuring defending gold medallist Sebastian Brendel of Germany — set the pace for most of the race.
The Germans and Chinese were stride for stride through most of the race, but in the final 250 metres a surprise push from the Cuba pairing of Serguey Torres Madrigal and Fernando Dayan Jorge Enriquez came up on the two lead boats, edging China to capture Cuba's first ever gold medal in canoeing, finishing in an Olympic-best 3-minutes, 24.995 seconds.
China's Liu Hao and Zheng Pengfei won silver by 2-tenths of a second. Germany's Brendel and Tim Hecker rounded out the podium, winning bronze.
Fitzpatrick and Varga finished in 3-minutes, 30.157 seconds, slightly slower than their semifinal time of 3-minutes, 27.145 seconds.
What a moment for the Cubans in the men's canoe double 1,000-metres!<br><br>Canadian duo Roland Varga and Connor Fitzpatrick came in sixth in the final A <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Tokyo2020?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Tokyo2020</a><br><br>Watch: <a href="https://t.co/Pb4bfxXZ5J">https://t.co/Pb4bfxXZ5J</a><a href="https://twitter.com/CanoeKayakCAN?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CanoeKayakCAN</a> <a href="https://t.co/p352NUHb6i">pic.twitter.com/p352NUHb6i</a>—@CBCOlympics
"It was good. We're happy with what happened," Fitzpatrick said after the race.
"Obviously you always want the best position, so you've got to be a little bummed with what happened. But I'm sure in a couple of weeks time we'll be texting each other saying 'holy crap, we were sixth at the Olympics!' I don't think we can be very mad with what just happened."
Varga echoed Fitzpatrick's sentiments.
"We came in with no expectations and no fear other than doing our best. And I think we delivered on that," he added.
"I'm really happy to make the final, and everything else was bonus. I'm really happy."
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