Germany's Sebastian Brendel claimed gold in dramatic circumstances as finals action began at the Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg as his Brazilian rival Isaquias Queiroz Dos Santos ended up falling in the water.
Dos Santos, Brazil's best hope of a canoeing medal at Rio 2016, has made a remarkable breakthrough in recent years in claiming six medals at the last three editions of the World Championships - including three golds.
But he has not yet been able to get the better of Olympic champion Brendel in the 1000 metres event in which the German is unbeaten in three years.
Straining to reach extra speed today in the International Canoe Federation-organised event, Dos Santos pulled-up before falling into the water 200m from the finish.
Brendel duly crossed the line first to win ahead of Moldova's Serghei Tarnovschi and Ukraine's Pavlo Altukhov and confirm his spot in the German Olympic team.
“It was a really tough race,” he said afterwards.
“The two contenders on my sides had a really fast start so it was not easy.
"Now my ticket to Rio is confirmed, that's a very good thing.”
Remarkably, the race marked the second occasion on which Dos Santos has been in the water after leading the German, after falling when within metres of gold at the 2014 World Championships in Moscow.
There was more home success as Olympic champions Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze claimed K2 500m gold on a day of 10 finals in fast conditions.
New Zealand's London 2012 winner Lisa Carrington also claimed a dominant K1 500m victory ahead of Azerbaijan's Inna Osipenko-Rodomska and Marta Walczykiewicz of Poland.
Denmark's René Holten Poulsen claimed K1 1000m gold ahead of Belgium's Athuur Peters and Germany's Max Hoff.
Spain also picked up two golds over the short 200m dash.
Saúl Craviotto and Cristian Toro claimed K2 200m gold before Antoni Segura and Alfonso Benavides crossed the line first in the corresponding C2 final.
Portugal’s Beatriz Gomes and Helena Rodrigues were among other winners in the women's K2 200m, while Poland's Edyta Dzieniszewska battled past Russian rival Svetlana Chernihovskaya to claim the K1 1000m title.
Belarus' Vitaliy Bialko and Raman Piatrushenka were victorious in the men's K2 1000m on a day in which the only non-European winner was Canada's Katie Vincent in the C1 200m.