Germany's Grimm gets gold - Martikan strikes again after 12 years

Society Materials 12 August 2008 15:54 (UTC +04:00)

Alexander Grimm of Germany struck gold in his first Olympics by dominating his whitewater canoeing/kayaking event while Slovak Michal Martikan got another gold 12 years after his first on Tuesday.

Grimm, 21, managed a superb second run through the gates in the K1 competition to win the gold in 171.70 seconds, up from fourth place after the first run. It was the first gold for Germany in Beijing after failures and poor results in the previous days, dpa reported.

Fabien Lefevre of France took silver with 173.30. First-run leader Benjamin Boukpeti of Togo got the first ever medal in the sport for Africa, a bronze in 173.45 seconds.

"I can't believe it, this is just an amazing feeling. It was my dream since I was a small child," said Grimm.

Grimm was just nine years old when Martikan won gold 1996 in Atlanta and the Slovak delivered again in Tuesday after the 2000 and 2004 gold medallist Tony Estanguet of France had crashed out early.

Martikan had 176.65 seconds as David Florence of Britain won silver in 178.61 and Robin Bell of Australia managed a bronze in 180.59 seconds.

"It is fantastic to be Olympic champion again after 12 years. My dream has come true," said Martikan.