Nevin Harrison makes history with women's canoe 200 triumph at Summer Olympics

TOKYO -- Nevin Henry saved her tears at the finish line. They came flooding out with a smile.American teenager, Laurence Vincent Lapointe, of Canada, won the gold medal with her surge in the second half of Thursday's canoe 200 sprint final. As part of their push for gender equality, the Olympics added the Tokyo Games event to the Olympic Games.Harrison stated, "It's thrilling to be part history, to see the awesomeness we all were," It was the most difficult race I had ever done. It's the Olympics and that's why it's so important.The 19-year old from Seattle will soon be starting college at San Diego State. She is the first American woman who has won a gold medal in canoe sprint and any type of medal since 1964.After the finish, Harrison broke down and held her hands to her lips before she sailed to the dock. She was unable to control her emotions during the medal ceremony and cradled the golden coin next to her cheek.As a way to relieve pressure, she had been known earlier in her career to cry before races. She didn't do that this time and had all the energy and calm she needed to overcome Vincent Lapointe's early lead. Harrison won the race and beat Vincent Lapointe, one of the greatest canoe paddlers ever.Vincent Lapointe, who had won six world championships in the event since 2010, had been the standard bearer. She had worked hard to get the race into Olympics. The Tokyo Games marked the first meeting of the best paddlers from around the world on the water.ResultsThey raced side by side. Vincent Lapointe was in Lane 3 and Harrison in Lane 4. Harrison paddles on Harrison's right side of the canoe. Vincent Lapointe prefers the left.They could see one another throughout the race.Harrison stated, "I grew-up watching her and wishing to one day reach that level." "They say that your idols will eventually become your rivals."Harrison won the 2019 World Championship at 17 years old, while Vincent Lapointe was on a provisional doping suspension. This was later overturned. Lapointe was unable to qualify for the Olympic trials canoe 200 after being laid off from international competition.Canada entered her in a kayak race she didn't compete in, and Canada accepted her onto the team. Then, she switched to her specialty race.The Canadian's quick start suggests a strategy to break down the young American. Harrison was patient and her steady, but furious strokes and sheer power helped her take the lead at the half-way point. Harrison was too strong for Harrison to catch, and she won by half an inch.Bronze went to Liudmyla Luzan from Ukraine."I am so relieved. Lapointe stated, "It hit me on stage that I've done this." Although I may not have won a medal, this silver is amazing.Vincent Lapointe may still win a medal. She will race in the canoe double 500 where she and her teammate Katie Vincent are favourites to win.New Zealand's Lisa Carrington won her third gold medal in just three days when she won the women's 500 kayak race with another dominant start to finish victory. Carrington won the double 500 and 200 earlier in the week, and she is still scheduled for the 500 fours.It is a daunting task to set out to accomplish something. Carrington stated that it was scary to believe that it is possible. It is amazing that it was possible."Sandor Totka, from Hungary, won the gold medal at the final men's Olympic Kayak 200. This was the first time that a non-British paddler has won the event since 2012. Manfredi Rizza from Italy won silver and Liam Heath, the defending Olympic champion, took bronze. Only 0.045 seconds separated silver and gold.In 2024, the Paris Games will not include the men's 200-meter kayak.Heath stated, "It will not be missed but it has been amazing to be part of its path."Thomas Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen from Australia won the men’s kayak double 1,000m at the Sea Forest Waterway. They also received a final kick over 200.Mox Hoff of Germany and Jacob Schopf from Germany were 0.304 seconds apart to win silver. Bronze was won by Josef Dostal and Rodek Slouf of the Czech Republic.