Sebastian Brendel (Germany) - Winner of the ‘Best Male Canoe Sprint 2016’ award in an Olympic year.
- Born: 1988, sport: canoe sprint (C1, C2), represents: Germany
- 2016: Olympic Champion C1 1000 and C2 1000
- 2015: World Champion C1 1000m and 5000m (Milan); European Games C1 1000m gold; World Cups: 3 x gold C1 1000m (Copenhagen, Duisburg, Montemor-o-Velho); European Champion C1 1000m and 5000m.
Sebastian Brendel is one of the most consistent athletes canoeing has ever seen, and at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games he reminded the world why. As the reigning C1 1000 Olympic gold medalist, 12-time world championship medalist and world record holder, he went into the competition as the clear favourite in his 2 events (C1 1000 and C2 1000) and thrived under the pressure.
In his first event, the C1 1000, Brendel was in a neck and neck battle with the crowd favourite, Isaquias Queiroz of Brazil, before powering away in the last 200m, winning his second consecutive gold medal and becoming the first man to defend his Olympic title in the men’s C1 1000m in 64 years.
In his second event of the week Brendel teamed with Jan Vandrey in the C2 1000. With the pair trailing for most of the race they took the lead from the Brazilian crew of Isaquias Queiroz and Erlon de Souza in the final stages to claim Brendel’s second gold medal of the Games.
Brendel’s medal haul helped Germany claim the top spot on the medal table in canoe sprint at this year’s Olympics, claiming seven medals in total.
As a reward for his record-breaking efforts, Sebastian was given the honor of carrying the German flag into the closing ceremony stadium, a job in which he relished. His achievements also mean he is crowned as the best Male Canoe Sprint athlete of the 2016 Rio Olympic games.