By CHRIS STEVENSON -- Team Sun
PENRITH LAKES -- Caroline Brunet waited four years for this day.
Then she had to wait another five hours -- another five hours to have her heart cruelly broken at the Olympics again.
The 31-year-old kayaker from Lac-Beauport, Que., the three-time reigning world champion, finished second in her big event at the Olympics -- again.
The gold medal, the last jewel she needed to complete her crown as the queen of kayaking, eluded her, again. Brunet, battling the wicked wind which delayed the regatta for five hours, finished second to Italy's Josefa Idem Guerrini. Australia's Katrin Borchert was third.
"Did you see the movie Gladiator? I was a gladiator out there today," Brunet told Radio-Canada. "And I got killed."
"I know she is going to be very disappointed," said Brunet's boyfriend, Norwegian paddler Knut Holmann, who won gold in the men's C-1 500 metre in the race immediately after Brunet's. "I know she wanted to win."
An hour later, Brunet and partner Karen Furneaux of Waverley, N.S., finished fifth in the women's K-2 500 metre. Brunet got off to a good start in the blustery conditions and led at the 250-metre mark, ahead of Yugoslavia's Natasa Janic and Idem Guerrini.
But Idem Guerrini took control in the second half of the race, while Brunet posted only the third fastest time for the final 250 metres.
Brunet said the athletes didn't want to race in the conditions, but were told they had to by the IOC.