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OLYMPICS: Silver medallist Kauzer welcomed home

Hrastnik, 14 August - Kayak slalomist Peter Kauzer, who won the Olympic silver medal in Rio, was received by some 2,000 fans in his home town of Hrastnik on Sunday.

Hrastnik
Reception for kayak slalomist Peter Kauzer, who won silver medal in Rio.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Hrastnik
Reception for kayak slalomist Peter Kauzer, who won silver medal in Rio.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Hrastnik
Reception for kayak slalomist Peter Kauzer, who won silver medal in Rio.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

Hrastnik
Reception for kayak slalomist Peter Kauzer, who won silver medal in Rio.
Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA

The 32-year-old, who had won his share of medals at world and European championships but not an Olympic one before, was given a rousing welcome with flags, banners and songs in his honour.

Entering the open-air reception in the back of a "cabrio" Renault 4, Kauzer was given a golden silver medal by his townsmen who consider the first Olympic medal won by someone from Hrastnik without compare.

"I'd like to thank everybody who's here and those who couldn't make it today but I know had supported me. Such a reception is really nice," stressed the athlete who had been beaten to the gold medal by Joseph Clarke of the United Kingdom for 17 seconds.

Turning to the future, Kauzer did not disclose his plans, but said that he would continue trying and maybe make it to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

His father, Peter Kauzer Sr, who had coached the canoeist in the past, meanwhile stressed that he was relieved: "He finally got what he deserved and wanted for so long."

The medallist was also received by Mayor of Hrastnik Miran Jerič, who had followed Kauzer to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"I was with him in Beijing and our fan group was with him in London, but this time we sadly couldn't make it to Rio. We did follow his races from here... We are extremely proud and happy for the long-awaited medal."

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© STA, 2016