SUN Mengya and XU Shixiao dominate to win first-ever canoe sprint women's C2 500m final

TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Mengya Sun and Shixiao Xu of Team China compete during the Women's Canoe Double 500m Semi-final 1 on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - AUGUST 07: Mengya Sun and Shixiao Xu of Team China compete during the Women's Canoe Double 500m Semi-final 1 on day fifteen of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Waterway on August 07, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

The People's Republic of China pair take gold in the women's canoe double 500m, with Ukraine second and Canada winning bronze. 

The People's Republic of China dug deep to win the women's C2 500m final at the Sea Forest Waterway.

The pairing of SUN Mengya and XU Shixiao - the 2019 world champions - led from the front to win the race in an Olympic Best time of 1:55.495, over two seconds faster than the record they had set just a day earlier (6 August, 1:57.870).

Ukraine's pair, Liudmyla Luzan of Ukraine and Anastasiia Chetverikova, came home second in 1:57.499, with the third spot on the podium going to Laurence Vincent-Lapointe of Canada and Katie Vincent who ended the race in 1:59.041.

Xu spoke after the race about the Olympic gold - the first by an athlete from her country in women's canoe.

“We are very, very proud," she said.

“We are so happy that we can win the first gold medal for China’s women’s canoe. This makes us so happy and also for our country, so happy.”

Silver medallist, Luzan was also elated after taking second place, saying: “I am so happy. We worked a lot. Our dream came true at this Olympics.”