ICF MEDIA – The last time the ICF Canoe Slalom World Cup came to Ivrea in northern Italy it was just before the Rio Olympics, and local paddler Giovanni De Gennaro stole the show and confirmed he was the best man to represent his country in Brazil.
Before he even took to the water that weekend his ticket had been booked, but by coming from last place in the final to snare gold he finally laid to rest any doubts that he was Italy’s best chance of a Rio medal.
At the start of 2016 it was naturally assumed Daniele Molmenti, the London 2012 K1 Olympic gold medallist, would earn the chance to defend his medal for Italy in Rio.
But very few people reckoned on De Gennaro, who kept coming out and finishing ahead of Molmenti in the races that mattered. There’s very little room for sentiment when it comes to the Olympics, and De Gennaro’s form could not be ignored.
He went on to finish seventh in the K1 in Rio.
This weekend the now 25-year-old Italian competes in front of an adoring home crowd as an Olympian, current Ivrea World Cup title holder, and winner at the most recent World Cup in Markkleeberg.