Connect with us

Olympics / Team USA

Casey Eichfeld Falls Just Short in Canoe Slalom Final

After just barely making the final round in the men’s canoe slalom, Casey Eichfeld of Drums, PA, performed admirably but fell just shy of making the podium, coming away with a seventh place finish.

In the preliminaries, Eichfeld raced cleanly, but appeared to be holding back on speed in order to avoid penalties. If he was afraid of penalties, it would have been justified considering in the most recent world championships, he finished fourth place only after being tagged with a penalty. Without it, he would have won bronze. His clean performance was more than enough to get him into the semifinals, finishing twelfth. However, he would need much more in the next round

In the seminfinals, he started to have a much more aggressive approach, attacking hard and quickly, which resulted in a strong time. However, he appeared to be pushed to the brink, being pushed to tenth, the last place that would qualify. In the second run, he was even weaker, but he was able to hang onto the tenth place, and make it into the finals, with only a .09 second lead over the eleventh place finisher.

Making the final as the last place qualifier, not much was expected of Eichfeld, but he still was able to put a big fight. His finals runs were easily his most aggressive of his entire time in singles slalom of these games. The aggressiveness paid off better than it ever had, running a fairly clean race, as he eventually finished seventh. In the end, he finished less than three seconds from bronze medal position, held by Japan’s Takuya Haneda. Denis Chanut of France won gold, with Matej Benus of Slovakia taking home the silver.

In a field full of more experienced and stronger racers, Eichfeld should be greatly encouraged by his performance. With racers such as David Florence of Great Britain, defending Olympic silver medalist Sideris Tasiadis of Germany, and pretty much the entire Czech and Slovakian team. The box was stacked against him, but he performed very well. Finishing within three seconds of a bronze medal is nothing to be upset about.

Eichfeld still has another chance at an Olympic medal in a couple of days when he competes with another local canoeist, Devin McEwan of Salibsury, CT, in the double’s canoe slalom. McEwan is the son of Jamie McEwan, who won the United States’ only Olympic medal in the event back in Munich in 1972. The duo is not expected to medal, so making the final there would be a great achievement again for Eichfeld.

The following two tabs change content below.
Dan is a Staff Writer here at with a focus on Team USA and the Rio Olympics
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Olympics / Team USA