Chourraut Takes Home the Gold in the Women’s Kayak (K1) at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

Maialen Chourraut has moved up the medal stand…

Four years after earning a bronze at the 2012 London Games, the 33-year-old Spanish slalom canoeist took home gold in the Women’s Kayak (K1) Final on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Games with a time of 98.65.

Maialen Chourraut

Rounding out the podium, New Zealand’s Luuka Jones won silver with a time of 101.82, and Australia’s Jessica Fox rounded out the top three with 102.49.

Chourraut’s run was the fastest of the entire kayak single slalom competition, and free of penalties.

Adding an extra layer of difficulty for the final–the wind was blowing upstream, causing the poles of the gates to move. As penalties are assigned for hitting a gate (two seconds) and missing a gate (50 seconds) and frequently the kayakers pass through by a nose, it complicated their final pass on the Deodoro Olympic Whitewater course for the women’s kayak slalom.

The course is 241 meters long, with 24 gates, including six in which the kayakers must pass through the two poles paddling upstream.

Chourraut had previously earned a bronze medal in the K1 slalom at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Chourraut Claims a Bronze in the Women’s Kayak Slalom

London Olympics 2012

Maialen Chourraut has given Spain its second Olympic medal in two days…

The 29-year-old Spanish slalom canoer earned the bronze medal in the women’s kayak slalom Thursday at the 2012 Olympic Games.

Maialen Chourrout

“This is the medal that I needed, said Chourraut at the end of competition. “This is for Spain.”

Chourraut, the 2009 world silver medalist, finished with a time of 106.87, about one second off gold medal winner, France’s Emilie Fer‘s time. Australia’s Jessica Fox won the silver.

Maialen Chourraut

It’s a vastly improved Olympic performance for Chourraut, who had previously competed in the K-1 event at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where she was eliminated in the heats.