ICF nominates Norway's Vold for Fair Play award

Norway sprint canoeist Eivind Vold has been nominated for a 2018 World Fair Play award after he disqualified himself from the final of the men’s 5000 metres at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Portugal last year.

Vold, who crossed the finish line in third place and received the bronze medal, later realised he had missed a race buoy and immediately notified the International Canoe Federation and the fourth placegetter, Spain’s Javier Hernanz.

Vold returned the bronze medal, which was then presented to Hernanz by the ICF President, Jose Perurena.

President Perurena praised Vold and the Norwegian Canoe Federation for their sense of fair play.

“It’s often very easy to forget what is important about playing sport and competing at all levels,” Mr Perurena said.

“Of course everyone is striving to win, or to get their best possible result. But it is just as important to compete fairly, and to treat your opponents with respect.

“Eivind Vold and his Norwegian Canoe Federation have provided us with a timely reminder of what should be at the heart of any sporting confrontation, be it at an Olympics or World Championships, or playing at the local park or on your nearby river.

“Without fairness and honesty, sport will suffer. Congratulations to the International Fair Play Committee for continuing to promote and reward those who strive to keep the bar set high.”

There was confusion at the end of the K1 5000 final, when the Spanish lodged a protest after boats came together in the final sprint to the finish. The Spaniards also suggested Vold may have passed on the wrong side of a buoy.

However after viewing footage of the race, ICF officials dismissed the protest and the results were allowed to stand.

But Vold and the Norwegian Canoe Federation later realised the buoy error may have occurred at a different part of the race, a view that was confirmed when they reviewed the tape.

They immediately contacted the ICF and Javier Hernanz, and Vold took the decision to disqualify himself.

“We are here for a gesture that is the basis of clean sport,” Hernanz said at the later medal ceremony.

“It is recognition of rigor, honesty, and respect for the work of others.”

The ICF has nominated Vold for the 2018 Pierre de Coubertin World Fair Play trophy.

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