Canoeing at the Rio 2016 Olympics: All you need to know

Canoe Slalom
Olympic Games on the BBC
Venue: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Dates: 5-21 August Time in Rio: BST -4
Coverage: Watch on BBC One, BBC Four, Red Button and up to 24 HD video streams on mobile, desktop and connected TVs, plus follow on Radio 5 live and via live text commentary.

How does it work?

Paddlers compete against the clock on a 250m white-water course, passing through gates and avoiding obstacles. There are time penalties for missing a gate or failing to pass through it correctly.

Men compete in canoe single (known as C1) and canoe double (C2), while there are kayak single (K1) events for men and women.

They all begin with heats, and the fastest boats progress to the semi-finals.

Who are the favourites?

Australian Jessica Fox won silver as an 18-year-old in London and will be aiming to upgrade that to K1 gold.

France look strong in the men's C2 with Gauthier Klauss and Matthieu Peche topping the rankings, while Benjamin Savsek and Matej Benus are leading contenders in the men's C1.

What about the British prospects?

David Florence has his eyes on gold after winning silver in Beijing and London. He will compete in both the canoe single, in which he is the world champion, and canoe double alongside Richard Hounslow, with whom he won silver at London 2012.

I didn't know that...

Canoe slalom became popular in Switzerland in the 1930s during the summer months as a spin-off from slalom skiing. It started on flat water but soon switched to white water rapids.

Previous British medallists:

Seven (one gold, five silver, one bronze)

Most recent British gold:

2012: Timothy Baillie & Etienne Stott (men's C2)

Canoe sprint

How does it work?

Canoe sprint events are head-to-head races in lanes along a still stretch of open water.

Paddlers race over 200m, 500m or 1,000m, either solo, in pairs or in teams of four.

Each of the 12 events is defined by a code, such as K2 (K for kayak, two for the number of people per boat).

In the kayak, athletes sit and use a double-bladed paddle; canoe events are only for men, who kneel and use a single-bladed paddle.

Who are the favourites?

New Zealander Lisa Carrington is the defending K1 200m champion and has won four successive world titles.

German Sebastian Brendel is also the reigning Olympic and world champion in the C1 1,000m. Brazil have a strong chance of winning their first canoe medal in the men's C2 1,000m.

What about the British prospects?

London Olympic bronze medallists Liam Heath and Jon Schofield will expect to be in contention for another medal in the men's K2 200m - they have finished on the podium in three of the past five World Championships.

The British women's K4 500m team have an outside chance of a medal after coming fifth in the 2015 World Championship final.

I didn't know that...

Germany's Birgit Fischer is both the youngest (18) and oldest (42) Olympic champion in this sport. She had a 24-year Olympic career between 1980 and 2004, winning eight gold medals and four silvers.

Previous British medallists:

Six (two gold, four bronze)

Most recent British gold:

2012: Ed McKeever (men's K1 200m)

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