Canoe Slalom is one of the most spectacular disciplines, demanding skill, stamina and courage. It sees athletes take on some of nature’s most challenging white water.
Paddlers have to negotiate their way down a 300m white water rapid, racing through a series of up to 25 gates made up of red and green poles. Green gates are negotiated in downstream direction, red gates in an upstream direction. Paddlers have to race as fast as they can through the course of gates whilst battling with the challenging white water rapids of waves, stoppers and eddies to accomplish the quickest time. If you touch a pole with anything a 2 second penalty is added to your time and if you miss a gate out, go through in the wrong direction or upside down a 50 second penalty is awarded. The combined score of time and penalties determines the finish order but the aim is to go fast and clean.
It is one of only two Olympic Canoeing Disciplines.
There are four Olympic categories that paddlers can compete in. Both women and men race in Kayak single (K1) and Canoe single (C1) events. Paddlers can also compete in Canadian double (C2) events as a single sex or mixed.
In their categories the paddlers also compete in team events, these consist of three boats, who work together weaving in and out of the course keeping as close to one another as possible.
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