Takuya Haneda claimed Japan’s first C1 Olympic medal as he finished third, behind Slovakia’s Matej Benus who got silver and France’s Denis Gargaud Chanut who won gold.
Despite having won gold at the 2014 Asian Games, few expected Haneda to finish on the podium in Rio.
His previous Olympic appearances saw him eliminated in the qualifying round in Beijing back in 2008 and in London in 2012 he finished seventh.
However, Haneda was able to produce the performance of his life as he stormed to bronze.
Haneda (1:37.44) only just saw off the challenges of Vítezslav Gebas (1:37.57) and Sideris Tasiadis (1:37.90) who finished fourth and fifth respectively.
Chanut was way out in front with a time of 1:34.17 while Benus was next best with 1:35.02.