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Cristian Toro waved goodbye to professional canoe sprint

Cristian Toro waved goodbye to professional canoe sprint 19.1.2024

Spanish canoe sprinter Cristian Toro decided to end his career in the elite of world canoeing. 31-year-old kayaker who was born in Venezuela, but soon moved to Spain to settle with his maternal family in the Lugo province, was one of the most successful Spanish canoe sprinters.

The biggest success in the career of Cristian Toro came in the season 2016 when he became Olympic Champion together with Saul Craviotto in men’s K2 200 metres event. In addition, he won four silver medals at World Championships. He won two medals in 2017 at the World Championships in Račice in MK2 200 and in MK4 500 and he repeated the same success in the same two events a year later in Montemor-o-Velho.

He competed for the first time in the colours of Spanish National team in 2009, when he became a member of the Junior national team at the age of 17. Together with Paulino Otero, Gabriel Campo and Manuel Robles they won bronze medal in men’s K4 1000 metres event of the European Championships in Poznan. The same crew repeated success a day later in the 500 metres distance. A month later they were also third at Junior World Championships in MK4 500 metres event. In 2010, in addition to K2 medal at Junior European Championships, he won his first individual medal in K1 200 metres event, when he finished second. The successes continued in the U23 age group as well and later in the senior category.

“The time has come to take another path in my life. The most part of my life I have dedicated to this sport. The moment came to take another road, and with that it is important to define what my sports career gave me. The sport for me was a constant learning. Canoeing also meant that I became a person I am today, to have values that help me face any challenge in my life. For me, the most important thing is the people I had around me. I tried to learn from all of them. Coaches - from Nico, Tono, Valladares, Luis, Miguel. I would also like to remember my teammates. It has been a fundamental pillar over the years, because I am a person who needs this game with teammates on a daily basis. The key moment is in Rio, when we crossed the finish line and I knew we won, but at that moment you stay frozen. It was Saul who woke me up from the dream, telling me and repeating, ‘Cristian we are Olympic Champions’. I was thinking, this cannot be, I must be dreaming. I had to repeat it to myself over and over and over again. Of course, I cannot forget my parents, my wife. They have always supported me, listened to me, they knew how to interpret different stages of my mood. I would like to thank all the people who have been there for me, the clubs, such as Viveiro, Fluvial de Lugo. Thank you very much for everything,” said Toro in his farewell video statement.

Photo and source: https://rfep.es/cristian-toro-oro-en-rio-2016-se-retira-de-la-alta-competicion/