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Canoeing

Germany's Birgit Fischer confirmed her position as one of the greatest Olympians of all time at the canoeing regatta despite her failure to win a record-equalling ninth Olympic gold.
PTI | By Kate Holton (Reuters), Athens
UPDATED ON AUG 31, 2004 08:19 PM IST

Germany's Birgit Fischer confirmed her position as one of the greatest Olympians of all time at the Athens canoeing regatta despite her failure to win a record-equalling ninth Olympic gold.

In a great regatta for the Germans, Fischer, 42, won her eighth Olympic gold in a thrilling race in the women's K4 500 on the first finals day but could only finish second a day later in the K2.

The eighth title put her one place behind gymnast Larissa Latynina and three men in the list of most gold medals won at summer Olympics.

The K2 title went to Hungary instead to give a jubilant Natasa Janics her second gold medal in little over an hour to the delight of the boisterous, flag-waving Hungarian fans.

In the men's blue riband races, the four leading male kayakers lined up several times against each other in the finals for four events and canoeist Andreas Dittmer of Germany won gold in the 500 sprint after missing out in his favoured C1 1,000 final on the Friday.

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Norway's Eirik Veraas Larsen won gold in the men's K1 1,000 final on Friday ahead of his close friend Adam van Koeverden of Canada who took the bronze. New Zealand's great hope Ben Fouhy finished second.

Just over an hour later Fouhy and Larsen took to the water again to contest the K2 final with Larsen taking a bronze behind the world champions Sweden.

On Saturday, double world champion Nathan Baggaley of Australia, who finished fourth on Friday, led the K1 500 final for 450 metres before van Koeverden came through on the line.

Baggaley held on for silver and repeated that feat an hour later in the K2 500 final.

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