David Cal Figueroa put the paddle to the medal at the 2012 Olympic Games to secure his place in the annals of Spanish sports history.
The 29-year-old Spanish sprint canoer had to settle for a silver medal in the men’s 1000-meter canoe (C1) single sprint at the London Games, after losing the oh-so-exhilarating race by less than a second to Germany’s Sebastian Brendel.
The race on Dorney Lake was thrilling to the very end, with Brendel catching up to his Spanish rival after Cal raced out to an early lead.
Brendel’s winning time of 3 minutes, 47.176 seconds was a mere 0.877 ticks ahead of Cal’s.
With his latest medal-earning performance, the three-time Olympian—the silver medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games and gold medal winner at 2004 Olympic Games in Athens—becomes the Spanish athlete with the most Olympic medals of all time, with a total of five medals.
Mark Oldershaw of Canada took the bronze, finishing 1.326 seconds behind the winning pace. Meanwhile, Hungary’s Attila Vajda, the reigning Olympic champion and the early odds-on favorite in London, failed to medal.