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Olympics Betting: Canoe Slalom

Tokyo 2020 | 23 July – 8 August | Multiple Rounds & Events

Olympics Canoe Slalom History

Canoe Slalom has not had a long history in the Olympics. It made its debut at Munich 1972, but then it took another 20 years before it returned at Barcelona 1992. It is now a permanent fixture of the Olympic programme and events take place on an artificial course.

Canoe Slalom at Tokyo 2020

At Tokyo 2020, the Kasai Slalom Centre will be the home of canoe slalom events. For the first time, a women’s canoe single event will be held. There will be four events in total.

  • Kayak (K-1) (Men/Women)
  • Canoe (C-1) (Men/Women)

Olympic Canoe Slalom: How it Works

In canoe slalom, competitors navigate a canoe or a kayak on an artificial white-water course, passing through a combination of upstream and downstream suspended gates on river rapids in the fastest time possible. The course is about 250m long and contains a maximum of 25 gates, with six or eight upstream gates. The course is designed so that competitors will complete it in around 95 seconds.

If the competitor’s boat, paddle or body touches either pole of the gate, a time penalty of two seconds is added. If the competitor misses a gate, a 50-second penalty is given. The time it takes to complete the course is added to the penalty seconds incurred to give the overall time.

In kayak, the competitor is seated and uses a double-bladed paddle, paddling on alternate sides. In canoe, the competitor uses a single-bladed paddle and sits with legs bent at the knees and tucked under the body, paddling on either the left or right side.

In the Olympic Games, each competitor completes two runs in the qualification round and the faster time of the two runs gives the qualification result. The top 20 competitors in kayak and the top 15 in canoe will advance to the semi-finals where they will do one run. The ten fastest semi-finalists will compete in the final, and the ranking and the medallists will be determined based on the last run alone.

Compared to wild water rapids, where natural conditions may affect the outcome, the artificial course provides a consistent water flow, yet the current still has subtle changes.

Olympics Betting: Canoe Slalom

Of the seven Olympic Games since Barcelona 1992, European athletes have dominated the men’s medal race. Only in the canoe and kayak in Beijing 2008 and in the canoe in Rio 2016 did non-European athletes win the bronze. The favourites are Czech Republic, Germany, France, Slovakia, Slovenia and England.

On the women’s side, Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, France and Spain have won gold in seven of the Olympic Games since Barcelona 1992. Other medal hopefuls include Australia, the USA and New Zealand. With more artificial courses established around the world, the gap is closing.

One of the leading women athletes in kayak is Jessica Fox of Australia whose parents were both world champions. Fox won silver at London 2012 and bronze at Rio 2016, and she was No. 1 in the 2019 ICF world rankings. With outstanding skills and physical abilities, she is considered the favourite in Tokyo.

In the women’s canoe single debuting in Tokyo, Great Britain’s Mallory Franklin has won many international competitions. Ranked second only after Jessica Fox, Franklin is the tallest canoe athlete and uses her long limbs to manoeuvre the boat. She is considered one of the top contenders for gold in Tokyo.

See our Olympics Canoe Slalom betting markets now.