France's 2000 and 2004 Olympic gold medalist Tony Estanguet grabbed the top prize at the London Games on Tuesday in the canoe slalom single category.
Estanguet won in 1 minute, 37.06 seconds to beat Germany's Sideris Tasiadis, who took the silver a second behind.
"It's a really special moment for me and was a big fight for me to return after Beijing with my ninth place. I am really satisfied because this water is very fast, it's like a dream," Estanguet said.
Beijing champion Michal Martikan of Slovakia was edged into bronze two tenths of a second down on Tasiadis.
"It's crazy," said Tasiadis when asked to comment on his silver.
"When I entered the Olympics, I did not expect to win a medal. I was not confident. It is a surprise medal. I was so nervous, but I am very pleased."
Estanguet had a perfect run down the 23-gate Olympic course after Tasiadis had qualified fastest in the semifinals.
Martikan also won gold at Atlanta in 1996, and was silver medalist behind Estanguet in Sydney and Athens.
"Although it's my fifth medal in five Olympic Games, I'm a bit disappointed," Martikan said.
"It wasn't a difficult course, although the water in some places made it difficult. The configuration of the gates was good. I'm just disappointed because I couldn't go faster."