Boris Neveu, supported by Banque Populaire Occitane*, failed to win the sought-after medal in the men's K-1 slalom canoeing event despite his fine performance in the semi-finals.
A promising lead-up to the finals
The sport is ruthless… and that's what makes it such a great event! Boris Neveu had been working for this moment for years. After twice failing to qualify for the world’s most prestigious sporting competition, he was finally selected for the Tokyo Olympics, which in itself is tremendous recognition for all his efforts. But, of course, like any champion he didn't simply come to Tokyo just to take part in the opening ceremony; he came to win a medal… and we truly believed in this possible outcome! Boris Neveu did indeed put up a very fine first performance in the semi-finals with a time of 94.86 seconds. For a long time he remained the leading contender for the medal until the Czech world number one did even better.
Two fatal mistakes
The Frenchman’s time allowed us to hope that Boris would continue the French tradition in the wider discipline of canoe-kayaking, a sport in which France boasts eight champions who carried off at least one gold medal: Georges Turlier, Jean Laudet, Franck Adisson, Wilfrid Forgues, Tony Estanguet, Benoit Peschier, Emilie Fer, and Denis Gargaud.
The 2nd best time in the qualifications justified our hopes that Boris Neveu could join them at the top of the podium of the Kasai canoe slalom center. Unfortunately, he made two disastrous mistakes in the final run when he touched two sets of gates, earning him a prohibitive four-second penalty. He consequently finished in 7th position – which is still a highly honorable outcome – but obviously not the result he was hoping for when he arrived in Tokyo.
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* Via the Performance Pact
Photos copyright: KMSP