In 2004, David Cal became the first canoer from Spain to win an Olympic title. A runner-up at the 2003 World Championships C-1 1,000, behind Andreas Dittmer, the roles were reversed in Athens as Cal defeated the German by half a second. In the 500 metres, the roles were reversed, with Cal taking the silver. Three years later, David Cal also collected his first World title, winning the C-1 500 in Duisburg, again ahead of Dittmer. A favorite for both canoe singles titles in Beijing, David Cal was the flagbearer of his team in the opening ceremonies. He returned home with two silver medals, finishing clearly behind Maksim Opalev and Attila Vajda, respectively. Cal's most recent World Championship medal came in 2011, finishing second in the C-1 1,000.