There are four events on the Olympic program. Men and women each compete in single kayak (K-1) events while only men compete in canoe events (C-1 and C-2).
A two-run qualification round, from which only a competitor’s single best time is counted, determines who advances to the one-run semifinal. From there, the top 10 boats move on to the one-run final. In each run, paddlers navigate their way through a series of 18 to 25 gates, which are re-set between runs. A two-second penalty is added to the time it takes a competitor to complete the course if a gate is touched by the body, boat or paddle. A missed gate is assessed a 50 second penalty.
Canada’s Olympic History (Pre-Rio 2016)
Canada has been competing in canoe/kayak slalom at the Olympic Games since the sport’s debut. While no Canadian has won a medal, David Ford came the closest with his fourth place finish in the men’s K-1 event at Athens 2004. The two-time world medallist competed in a remarkable five straight Olympic Games, beginning at Barcelona 1992.