The man who finished fourth at the Olympic Games in the K1, knew the gold was probably beyond him at La Seu d’Urgell. Peter Kauzer of Slovenia has been magnificent all through and he had a stunning two seconds to spare over Boris Neveu of France at the finish.
However, Rheinisch had placed himself in the picture for a medal with a fifth-place finish in yesterday morning’s semi-final. But in the final he said he seemed to be fighting the water from the start. He hit gate five, incurring a two-second time penalty, and then hit the final gate as he tired at the finish. The Leixlip-based Dubliner was disappointed afterwards, but said he had little care whether he was ninth or fourth, fifth or sixth. “I went for it,” he explained. “I took what I thought were acceptable risks.”
His semi-final performance was very heartening, especially as he felt he had another second or two to find in the course. He needed to finish in the top 10 to make the final and he finished fifth. Olympic silver medallist Fabien Lefevre and bronze medallist Benjamin Boukpeti both fell away at this stage, finishing 11th and 16th respectively.
With Olympic gold medallist Alexander Grimm having already exited in the heats, this left Rheinisch as the sole survivor from the top four in Beijing. On Saturday, Ireland’s team of Rheinisch, Neil Caffrey and Ciarán Heurteau had finished 15th. The Czech Republic came out on top in an event which is of lesser importance than the individual test.