In the Slalom discipline, competitors travel down a 300m-long course on turbulent, ‘white-water’ rapids.
They must pass through a twisting sequence of 25 ‘gates’, avoiding penalty points for touching the poles.
Green and white gates must be taken in a ‘downstream’ direction; red and white ‘upstream’ gates require competitors to paddle against the current. A touch is penalised by two seconds added to the competitor’s time; missing a gate costs 50 seconds - a ‘wipeout’ in serious competition.
Each competitor takes two runs, and the times are added together. Events are held for single kayakers (C1, K1, men and women), single canoeists (C1, men only) and pairs of canoeists (C2, men only).