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Olympics-Canoeing-Medal hopefuls do enough for place in slalom final

France's Martin Thomas came first in the men's canoe slalom on Monday, beating medal favourites including past silver medalists Matej Benus from Slovakia and Germany's Sideris Tasiadis who did just enough to proceed to the final later in the day.

TOKYO: France's Martin Thomas came first in the men's canoe slalom on Monday, beating medal favourites including past silver medalists Matej Benus from Slovakia and Germany's Sideris Tasiadis who did just enough to proceed to the final later in the day.

Benus, who placed ninth among the 10 qualifiers, is looking to claim Slovakia's third gold in the event and its first since 2008. A win by Tasiadis, who placed fifth, would be the first victory by a German since East German paddler Reinhard Eiben won in 1972.

Cloudy weather at the Kasai slalom centre next to Tokyo Bay brought some relief to paddlers who battled through warm water in the heats on Sunday that Australian athlete Jessica Fox described as like "bath water".

Five paddlers were eliminated in the semifinal run, including Ireland's Liam Jegou who picked up 100 seconds in penalties for missed gates.

"It's very raw, right now I am just really really gutted. It's going to be an hour now of me sulking and being a bit pissed off but after that it's over," a distraught Jegou said after the race.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

Source: Reuters

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