Kayaker Becomes 1st Woman to Compete in 8 Olympics - NBC 7 San Diego
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Kayaker Becomes 1st Woman to Compete in 8 Olympics

Josefa Idem competed in her first Olympics in 1984



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    Italy's Josefa Idem paddles on her way to winning a women's kayak single 500m semifinal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

    Italian kayaker Josefa Idem became the first woman to compete in eight Olympic Games — and marked the occasion Tuesday by upstaging a host of younger rivals to qualify for the flagship 500-meter K-1 final.

    The 47-year-old Idem, who first competed at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, when she competed for Germany, won the third semifinal to stay on course for a second Olympic gold — after Sydney 12 years ago.

    But there was disappointment for another veteran champion, Katrin Wagner-Augustin of Germany, who placed fourth in the same semifinal to miss Thursday's final. Wagner-Augustin has won Olympic golds over 500 in the double and four, but never as an individual.

    Danuta Kozak of Hungary was the quickest qualifier by nearly a second.