Isaquias Queiroz dos Santos has stormed to the top of the medal podium…
In a thrilling men’s canoe single 1000m race, the 27-year-old Brazilian athlete crossed the finish line first to claim the gold medal for Brazil.
Queiroz was neck and neck with China’s Liu Hao in the first quarter of the race, but broke away in the last 250m and stormed to the finish line first at 4:04.408.
Liu came in second with a time of 4:05.724. Meanwhile Moldova‘s Serghei Tarnovschi came up from behind to overtake France‘s Adrien Bart in the final second to clinch bronze.
This is the first gold medal for Queiroz, who won three Olympic medals (two silvers and a bronze) at his home Games, five years ago at the 2016 Rio Games.
“I feel like I have finally lifted the weight of the world from my back. That doesn’t mean I feel pressure, but I felt an obligation to the sport lovers of Brazil to represent our country. Now I feel way lighter,” the athlete said.
Queiroz plunged to the water after realizing he’d won the gold medal.
“In Rio de Janeiro I worked hard to get a medal but sadly I couldn’t choose the colour so it was silver and bronze. This time I really wanted a better result, so I trained hard for that. I’m really happy with the result.
“Now I really want to relax and have some vacations but also prepare for pairs. I want more medals. It really feels good to be a medalist.”