Canoe Sprint

Facts

Discipline of Canoeing
Participants 2670
NOCs 93
Competitions held 189 (Venues)
Distinct events 34
IF International Canoe Federation

Description

Canoeing began as a means of transportation, but competition in canoeing began in the mid-19th century. The Royal Canoe Club of London was formed in 1866 and was the first organization interested in developing the sport. In 1871, the New York Canoe Club was founded.

In 1924, canoeing was on the Olympic Program as a demonstration sport. Canoeing became a full medal sport in 1936 with both canoe and kayak events. The two types of canoes used are the kayak, in which the paddler sits inside a covered shell, and the Canadian, in which the paddler kneels on one knee with the top of the canoe open. The Canadian events use a single-bladed paddle, with the paddler alternating sides of the canoe for strokes, while the kayak uses a double-bladed paddle. Sprint canoeing is sometimes referred to as flatwater canoeing to differentiate it from slalom canoeing, which is often called whitewater paddling.

The Olympic Program has varied a great deal over the years with many events now discontinued and several new ones added. Women began Olympic canoeing in 1948, competing only in kayaks, which was the case through 2016. However, women’s Canadian events were added to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics program. Historically, men have had more events than women at the Olympics, but in 2020 they both contested six sprint canoe events, two Canadian and four kayak, although they were slightly different events.

The events are usually designated by codes, such as K1-500. The code indicates the type of canoe (K = kayak, C = Canadian), the number of canoeists (1, 2, or 4), followed by the distance (200, 500 or 1,000 metres). For many years, sprint canoe races were contested over 500 or 1,000 metres, but 200 metre races were added to the Olympic Program in 2012.

Canoeing is governed worldwide by the International Canoe Federation (ICF) [in French: Fédération Internationale de Canoë (FIC)], which was founded 1946 in Stockholm. The ICF succeeded the Internationale Repräsentantenschaft Kanusport (IRK), which was created on 19 January 1924 in München, with four founding members: Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Sweden. The ICF had 166 member nations as of November 2019.

All-time medal table

Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany GER 31 20 14 65
Soviet Union URS 28 13 8 49
Hungary HUN 27 28 25 80
Sweden SWE 11 9 3 23
East Germany GDR 10 7 8 25
New Zealand NZL 10 2 2 14
Romania ROU 9 10 14 33
Norway NOR 6 3 3 12
Canada CAN 4 9 10 23
Spain ESP 4 9 4 17
Italy ITA 4 7 3 14
Australia AUS 4 5 10 19
Bulgaria BUL 4 5 8 17
Czechoslovakia TCH 4 2 0 6
Denmark DEN 3 6 7 16
Ukraine UKR 3 3 4 10
United States USA 3 2 3 8
People's Republic of China CHN 3 2 0 5
Great Britain GBR 3 1 5 9
Finland FIN 3 1 2 6
Russian Federation RUS 2 4 6 12
Belarus BLR 2 3 4 9
West Germany FRG 2 3 2 7
Austria AUT 2 2 4 8
Yugoslavia YUG 2 2 1 5
Czech Republic CZE 2 1 3 6
Cuba CUB 1 3 0 4
Brazil BRA 1 2 1 4
Unified Team EUN 1 1 0 2
Poland POL 0 7 14 21
France FRA 0 4 10 14
Netherlands NED 0 3 4 7
Slovakia SVK 0 3 2 5
Latvia LAT 0 2 0 2
Azerbaijan AZE 0 1 1 2
Portugal POR 0 1 1 2
Republic of Moldova MDA 0 1 1 2
Serbia SRB 0 1 0 1
Switzerland SUI 0 1 0 1
Israel ISR 0 0 1 1
Lithuania LTU 0 0 1 1
South Africa RSA 0 0 1 1

Youth Olympic Games

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Hungary HUN 4 3 0 7
France FRA 3 1 1 5
Slovenia SLO 3 0 0 3
Belarus BLR 2 0 0 2
Slovakia SVK 1 3 2 6
People's Republic of China CHN 1 3 1 5
Uzbekistan UZB 1 1 0 2
Austria AUT 1 0 1 2
Kazakhstan KAZ 1 0 1 2
Russian Federation RUS 1 0 1 2
Australia AUS 1 0 0 1
Cuba CUB 1 0 0 1
Mauritius MRI 1 0 0 1
Republic of Moldova MDA 1 0 0 1
Germany GER 0 3 1 4
Czech Republic CZE 0 2 4 6
Ukraine UKR 0 2 1 3
Belgium BEL 0 1 1 2
Ireland IRL 0 1 0 1
Lithuania LTU 0 1 0 1
New Zealand NZL 0 1 0 1
Mexico MEX 0 0 3 3
Spain ESP 0 0 3 3
Argentina ARG 0 0 1 1
Chinese Taipei TPE 0 0 1 1

Most successful competitors

Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Birgit Fischer-Schmidt GDR
GER
8 4 0 12
Danuta Kozák HUN 6 1 1 8
Lisa Carrington NZL 5 0 1 6
Ivan Patzaichin ROU 4 3 0 7
Katrin Wagner-Augustin GER 4 1 1 6
Ian Ferguson NZL 4 1 0 5
Gert Fredriksson SWE 4 0 1 5
Katalin Kovács HUN 3 5 0 8
Agneta Andersson SWE 3 2 2 7
Knut Holmann NOR 3 2 1 6
Natasa Dusev-Janics HUN
SCG
3 2 1 6

Youth Olympic Games

Athlete Nat Gold Silver Bronze Total
Doriane Delassus FRA 1 1 0 2
Emanuela Luknárová SVK 1 0 1 2
Jess Fox AUS 1 0 0 1
Serghei Tarnovschi MDA 1 0 0 1
Sándor Tótka HUN 1 0 0 1
Ramóna Farkasdi HUN 1 0 0 1
Wang Xiaodong CHN 1 0 0 1
Osvaldo Sacerio CUB 1 0 0 1
Simon Brus SLO 1 0 0 1
Nadine Weratschnig AUT 1 0 0 1
Kamila Bobr BLR 1 0 0 1
Camille Prigent FRA 1 0 0 1
Inna Nikitina RUS 1 0 0 1
Stanislau Daineka BLR 1 0 0 1
Lucas Roisin FRA 1 0 0 1
Anže Urankar SLO 1 0 0 1
Ádám Kiss HUN 1 0 0 1
Dias Bakhraddin KAZ 1 0 0 1
Terence Saramandif MRI 1 0 0 1
Lan Tominc SLO 1 0 0 1
Eszter Rendessy HUN 1 0 0 1
Gulbakhor Fayzieva UZB 1 0 0 1

Event types

Name Gender Still contested? Times held?
Kayak Singles, 200 metres Men 3
Kayak Singles, 1,000 metres Men 20
Kayak Doubles, 200 metres Men 2
Kayak Doubles, 1,000 metres Men 20
Kayak Fours, 500 metres Men 1
Kayak Fours, 1,000 metres Men 14
Canadian Singles, 200 metres Men 2
Canadian Singles, 1,000 metres Men 20
Canadian Doubles, 1,000 metres Men 20
Kayak Singles, 200 metres Women 3
Kayak Singles, 500 metres Women 19
Kayak Doubles, 500 metres Women 16
Kayak Fours, 500 metres Women 10
Canadian Singles, 200 metres Women 1
Canadian Doubles, 500 metres Women 1
Kayak Singles, Obstacle Slalom Boys 3
Kayak Singles, Head to Head Boys 3
Canoe Singles, Obstacle Slalom Boys 3
Canoe Singles, Head to Head Boys 3
Kayak Singles, Head to Head Girls 3
Kayak Singles, Obstacle Slalom Girls 3
Canoe Singles, Head to Head Girls 2
Canoe Singles, Obstacle Slalom Girls 2
Kayak Singles, 500 metres Men 9
Kayak Doubles, 500 metres Men 9
Kayak Relay, 4 × 500 metres Men 1
Canadian Singles, 500 metres Men 9
Canadian Doubles, 500 metres Men 9
Kayak Singles, 800 metres Men 1
Kayak Doubles, 800 metres Men 1
Kayak Fours, 800 metres Men 1
Canadian Singles, 800 metres Men 1
Canadian Doubles, 800 metres Men 1
Canadian Fours, 800 metres Men 1