Cana-dian kayaker Mark de Jonge won bronze in the K-1 200-metre race Saturday.
Britain's Ed McKeever, silver medallist at the world championships last year and former world champion, won gold in 36.246. The Briton's nickname is "the Usain Bolt of the water."
Saul Craviotto of Spain won silver in 36.540, ahead of 28-year-old de Jonge, from Halifax, in 36.657.
De Jonge won both his heat (35.396) and semifinal (35.595) Friday to advance to the final on the last day of canoe-kayak competition at Eton Dorney.
"I'm so happy to get a medal. It was incredible," de Jonge said.
"I just came out here in the morning, I felt all the support of everyone back home and it was just such a great feeling.
"I wasn't nervous or anxious. Just really filled with good feelings and I knew that was a good sign coming into the race."
De Jonge had a Canadian flag signed by members of his Maskwa canoe-kayak club back home over his shoulders as he met the media afterwards.
His Olympic dream was almost derailed in April when he broke a finger.
The muscular kayaker dropped an 80-pound dumbbell on his hand after he lost his balance during a workout in Florida.
"A freak accident," he called it.
He put his hand down on the ground for balance, having to throw the weight away to do so. Unfortunately, it did not go as far as he had planned.
One side of the dumbbell hit the ground. The other smashed his hand.
The good news was that it was a small break and the bone was not displaced.
But at the time, de Jonge feared missing out on London. Given that he had left the sport after not making the Beijing team, that possibility was especially painful.
De Jonge was focusing on his engineering career when coach Fred Jobin convinced him to return in 2010, pointing to the introduction of the 200-metre event at the Olympics.
The distance has been contested at the world campionships for more than a decade. "Everything can happen," Jobin said of the 200-metre race. "Small mistakes can make the difference."
De Jonge said he came back for one thing - "the feeling of a perfect race: the time, measured in seconds and fractions of seconds, when the effort of years of training and preparation pays off."
De Jonge originally qualified for an Olympic berth for Canada in the K-1 200 metres with his sixth-place finish at last year's world championships.
His federation delayed the trials to see who would be in the boat until de Jonge healed.
In June, he won the last spot on the Olympic canoe-kayak team by defeating teammate Richard Dober Jr. in an unofficial world best time of 33.804.
The time does not count because it was not an international meet.
De Jonge, who started kayaking at 13, is no stranger to the Olympic venue.
He won a bronze medal at the test event at Eton Dorney last September.
At five-foot-11 and 188 pounds, de Jonge's upper body is an inverted slab of muscle.
A graduate of Dalhousie, de Jonge is currently on leave from Stantec, an engineering consulting company.
Hugues Fournel of Lachine, Que., and Ryan Cochrane of Windsor, Ont., - not to be confused with the Victoria swimmer of the same name - competed in the later K-2 200-metre final.
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