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Olympics-Canoeing-Savsek leads men's slalom, Funk in front in women's kayak

Slovenia's Benjamin Savsek led the men's Olympic canoe slalom after the first run at the sun-baked Kasai slalom centre on Sunday, with Germany's Ricarda Funk ahead in the women's kayak.

Olympics-Canoeing-Savsek leads men's slalom, Funk in front in women's kayak

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Canoe Slalom - Men's C1 - Heats - Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, Tokyo, Japan - July 25, 2021. Benjamin Savsek of Slovenia in action. REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

TOKYO: Slovenia's Benjamin Savsek led the men's Olympic canoe slalom after the first run at the sun-baked Kasai slalom centre on Sunday, with Germany's Ricarda Funk ahead in the women's kayak.

The men's canoe slalom has been dominated by France and Slovakia for decades with the title going to one or the other since the Atlanta Games in 1996.

Matej Benus, 33, who took silver in Rio five years ago was second with American Zachary Lokken third after a strong first run down the man-made whitewater course.

Cheering from handful of people watching from the stands at the specatorless event, was drowned out by the buzzing of cicadas in the surrounding seaside park next to Tokyo Bay.

Savsek, a 34-year-old electrician, took the lead despite a two-second penalty for touching one of the gate poles.

Germany's Sideris Tasiadis, who is looking for his first major international title, placed sixth, 1.87 seconds behind Savsek.

In the women's kayak Australia's Jessica Fox, who is aiming for gold in both the kayak and canoe after picking up a bronze in Rio and silver in London, was in second after paddling through the 25 gates 2.15 seconds behind Funk.

Coming in third was Eliska Mintalova from Slovakia in her first Olympic Games.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly, editing by Pritha SArkar)

Source: Reuters

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