USA's Harrison surprises with C-1 200m win, Carrington snatches third Tokyo gold

Team USA's Nevin Harrison wins gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Team USA's Nevin Harrison wins gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The women ruled the water Thursday at the Sea Forest Waterway, as Seattle's teenaged Nevin Harrison -- the youngest competitor in the C-1 200m race -- earned the first-ever gold medal for an American in women’s canoe slalom or canoe sprint. A history-making victory that resulted in tears of joy, Harrison has a bright Olympic future ahead of her and may usher in a new generation of U.S. canoers and kayakers. 

Harrison grew up with dreams of reaching the Olympics in track & field, running the 100m and 200m sprints. But running became painful, leading to a diagnosis of hip dysplasia, a condition wherein the hip socket and thighbone aren't properly connected. 

That condition led Harrison to a new sport -- one that didn't require running -- and ultimately a path paved with Olympic gold. 

Meanwhile, New Zealand's Lisa Carrington added another Olympic gold to her stacked resume, further solidifying her status as one of the world's greatest-ever kayakers.

Read more about each final:

Men's K-1 200m Sprint

RESULTS

A photo-finish left Group A finalists lost in the water following a breathless race, excited and confused faces searching for definitive results after the eight kayakers completed their competition. When the smoke cleared, Hungary's Sandor Totka emerged victorious with a 35.035 time. Italy's Manfredi Rizza scored silver with 35.080, and Great Britain's Liam Heath -- the Rio 2016 gold medalist who crushed the quarterfinals yesterday (with a faster time of 33.985 seconds) -- earned his second kayaking bronze with 35.202, having finished third in the K-2 200m event at London 2012.

Unfortunately, this discipline won't make an appearance at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

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Women's C-1 200m Sprint

RESULTS

A new American champion in (atop?) the water!

Team USA's 19-year-old Nevin Harrison -- the youngest competitor in the final, who hails from Seattle -- won the first-ever women's C-1 200m in a blazing 45.932, the only racer to finish sub-46 seconds. The 2019 World Championships gold medalist won by more than a nose, defeating Canada's silver medalist Laurence Vincent-Lapointe and Ukraine's bronze medalist Liudmyla Luzan.

After her emotional victory, a tearful Harrison embraced her coaches. "You beast!" one of her teammates said, earning laughs. "An Olympic champion!"

 

SEE MORE: Nevin Harrison's impressive paddling in Olympic debut

Women's K-1 500m Sprint

RESULTS

New Zealand's Lisa Carrington can't be stopped. 

The 32-year-old superstar won her third gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a time of 1:51.216, following victories in the K-1 200m and K-2 500m events. It was Carrington's fifth career Olympic gold and sixth overall medal, and an improvement upon her bronze medal-worthy K-1 500m performance at Rio 2016. 

Hungary's Tamara Csipes (1:51.855) and Denmark's Emma Jorgensen (1:52.773) earned silver and gold, respectively.

SEE MORE: New Zealand's Lisa Carrington wins gold in 500-meter kayak

Men's K-2 1000m Sprint

RESULTS

Australia pulled off another astonishing first-place finish at these Olympics by edging out world champions Germany for kayak gold. 

Teammates Jean van der Westhuyzen and Thomas Green -- in their debut Games -- held onto the top spot from the moment they took off, barely keeping the European pairing of two-time Olympic medalist Max Hoff and Jacob Schopf at bay. The Czech Republic's Josef Dostal and Radek Slouf fought hard for first, adding to a chaotic race that saw each duo kick it into high gear. 

Those top three teams all finished within a second of one another, but the Australians snatched gold in 3:15.280.