Russian rowers on top at home World Cup event
The Krylatskoe rowing and canoeing course has hosted many major events and was one of the Olympic venues at the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow.
It was here that athletes from the Soviet Union and German Democratic Republic reined supreme, clinching four golds apiece.
32 years on, Krylatskoe has undergone a major renovation and was used to host the third and final stage of this year's Canoe Sprint World Cup.
It's being seen as a dress rehearsal for the World Championships to be held here in 2014.
“I think everybody have been very impressed by the quality of the facilities,” Richard Fox, International Canoe Federation’s Vice President, told RT. “The finish tower is exceptional as well as everything else around it. So, two years before the world championships, it’s great coming to the World Cup to experience all of these things.”
The 2012 World Cup program is one stage shorter than usual due to the London Olympics, scheduled for the end of the summer.
So, for many athletes this tournament was the last chance to find their best form ahead of the domestic championships, which will ultimately determine all Olympic Games participants.
Canadian team leader, Adam van Koeverden, is guaranteed an Olympic spot already, but he found the motivation to see off the opposition in the kayak 1,000 meters final.
“I’m very excited and honored to be representing my country again,” he said. “I’m looking forward to London; looking forward to be with a very strong Canadian team – a small, but strong Canadian team. It’ll be my third Olympics, so I’m really excited.”
The Russian Olympic squad will be named at the end of June, after the domestic championships.
And it will be a tough choice for the team's coaches, as the country will compete in 11 of the 12 disciplines.
Yury Postrigay and Alekandr Dyachenko have been leading competitors for Russia in recent months, winning gold at the Moscow World Cup stage in the K2 class, but even they see room for improvement.
“We were first in Duisburg, now we are first here, in Moscow and it's obviously very good,” Postrigay stressed. “But there are still some negatives to be eliminated from our performance and we are going to do that together with our team – coaches, medical staff and the rest."
In the Olympic year the results of the World Cup Events are often under the shadow of the world's biggest competition. It applies to a huge variety of sports and rowing is not an exception.
But when the time comes, the sport's best will be at Dorney Lake in the UK, hoping to create their own little bit of history.