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Canoeing: France's Gargaud Chanut wins C1 on whitewater

2016 Rio Olympics ? Canoe Slalom ? Final ? Men's Canoe Single (C1) Final ? Whitewater Stadium ? Rio de Janeiro, Bra ...

2016 Rio Olympics - Canoe Slalom - Final - Men's Canoe Single (C1) Final - Whitewater Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 09/08/2016. A woman hugs Denis Gargaud Chanut (FRA) of France in the finish area. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
2016 Rio Olympics - Canoe Slalom - Final - Men's Canoe Single (C1) Final - Whitewater Stadium - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 09/08/2016. A woman hugs Denis Gargaud Chanut (FRA) of France in the finish area. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

By Martyn Herman

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - French paddler Denis Gargaud Chanut won Olympic gold in the canoe slalom C1 final on Tuesday as world champion and favourite David Florence surprisingly failed to feature.

Gargaud Chanut smoothly negotiated the 24 gates along the churning 242m whitewater course to finish 0.85 seconds ahead of Slovakia's Matej Benus.

Japan's Takuya Haneda became the first Asian athlete to win an Olympic medal in canoe slalom as he finished third, 3.27 seconds slower than the flying Frenchman.

Britain's Florence, a silver medallist in Beijing and again in the C2 in London, finished last of the 10 finalists after struggling to get to grips with the course.

The gold was France's second of the day -- and the Games -- after also winning the equestrian team eventing.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Neil Robinson)

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