In the first-ever iteration of the women’s canoe single 200m sprint at the Olympics, Nevin Harrison of the United States made history.
Harrison took home the first Olympic gold medal in the event with a time of 45.932 seconds at just 19 years old.
Canada’s Laurence Vincent-Lapointe placed second for the silver medal and Ukraine’s Liudmyla Luzan earned the bronze medal.
Harrison, a two-time World champion, was favorited to win the canoe single 200m event in Tokyo. During heats on Tuesday night, Harrison set an Olympic record when she finished in 44.938 seconds in her heat. She also won her semifinal heat on Wednesday.
The American teenager started canoeing at the age of 12, and instantly fell in love.
“I saw some athletes training on a lake in my hometown, and instantly wanted to try. I was amazed by how challenging it was and how much work it took to stay balanced and master the sport,” Harrison said. “I was determined to learn the different technical aspects and fell in love with racing.”
Harrison made her Olympic debut in Tokyo with one goal in mind: to win a gold medal.
“I’m here to race and beat who I have to,” she said.
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