First Australian Double In Kayak


Oakley’s Ken Wallace won a stunning come-from-behind gold medal in the men’s K1 500m kayak. Wearing custom Australian color way Radar’s (yellow frames with green socks) and using the G26 Iridium lens, Ken took home his second medal of the games.

Wallace took advantage of how the G26 lens enhances one’s target while increasing contrast against blue and green (water) surfaces.

His performance in yesterday’s final was stunning. At the 250m mark, Wallace was in second position, almost a full boat length behind defending Summer Games champion Adam van Koeverden of Canada who had not been beaten since 2006.

But he remained calm and as the Canadian began to struggle in the final 100m Wallace stormed over the top of him with his trademark strong finish, recording 1min37.25sec.

“I’m ecstatic, absolutely over the moon,” said Wallace after jumping into the water at Shunyi to celebrate his win.

Wallace, 25, added the gold medal to the bronze he won a day earlier in the K1 1000m, becoming the first Australian to win a medal in both kayak events at a single Games.

It was Australia’s first individual kayak gold medal since Clint Robinson’s triumph in the K1 1000m in Barcelona.

Wallace grew up idolizing Robinson, with whom he shares many similarities being a lifesaver that turned to kayaking for a shot at Olympic glory. He still has a poster on a wall of Robinson, which he first hung as a teenager.


Matt Murray


August 25, 2008

Related Photos