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Sports

German riders bucked off podium, gold in canoe

Germany missed the podium in the individual jumping event of the equestrian competition at the London Olympics. The disappointment in that event was off-set to some extent by medals from Germany in earlier competitions.

At Greenwich Park in London, German riders failed to medal in the equestrian event of individual jumping for the second summer Olympics in a row. Early favorites Marcus Ehning and horse Plot Blue, who had a perfect ride in the first round of the final, received nine faults in a disastrous final round.

The horse-rider combo finished tied for 12th, far behind winner Steve Guerdat of Switzerland. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum, another German rider who earlier was a popular pick to win gold, failed to even make it to the final round after an error-filled ride atop Bella Donna saw her eliminated earlier in the afternoon. She finished in 23rd.

The silver lining, though, was that Britain also failed to medal in jumping, meaning the Germans were able to maintain their slim 4-3 lead in the equestrian medal tables in an area they have traditionally dominated.

Medals on the water

German athletes began the day in stellar form. Sebastian Brendel, a police officer, won the men's 1000-meter canoe (C1) single sprint by less than a second over David Cal Figueroa of Spain. The race on Dorney Lake was thrilling right to the end, with Brendel catching up to Figueroa after the latter raced out to an early lead. Hungary's Attila Vajda, the 2008 gold medalist and the early favorite in London, failed to medal. Canada's Mark Oldershaw took bronze. Brendel's medal was Germany's seventh gold of the Olympics so far.

Sebastian Brendel of Germany reacts after winning the gold medal in the Canoe Single (C1) 1000m Men's Canoe Sprint final during the London 2012 Olympic Games Canoe Sprint competition at the Eton Dorney rowing centre near the village of Dorney, west of London, Britain, August 6, 2012.

Sebastian Brendel's canoeing gold was Germany's seventh overall

Also in canoeing, German Max Hoff was edged out in the men's 1000-meter kayak (K1) single sprint by Norway's Eirik Veras Larsen, who won the event by slightly less than 1.3 seconds. Canada's Adam van Koeverden beat Hoff by barely half a second for silver. The race was the first final of the Olympic canoeing regatta, taking place in front of packed stands at the course west of London.

The difference between the canoe C1 and K1 singles is the type of boat used, a canoe (C) or kayak (K).

Later, Germans Martin Hollstein and Andreas Ihle captured a bronze medal in the men's kayak double (K2) 1000 meter. Less than a half second separated them from the first-place Hungarian team. Portugal received silver.

In women's canoeing, the German quartet of Carolin Leonhardt, Katrin Wagner-Augustin, Franziska Weber and Tine Dietze had to settle for silver after Hungary came from behind to beat them in the women's kayak four (K4) 500 meter in a photo finish. Belarus took bronze.

At London's ExCeL center, the German team of Timo Boll, Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Bastian Steger earned a surprising bronze in team table tennis after beating Hong Kong 3-1. Boll secured the victory, winning the last match in four sets.

bm/mz (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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