The 36-year-old Norwegian claimed the fourth Olympic medal of his career after a dominant performance. When he rose up from the kayak, it was with a broad grin on his face.
"It's indescribable. Now I can retire with a clear conscience," he told NRK.
"I don't think it was going to happen. It has been a tough two years. To do this is fantastic."
Verås Larsen got a better start than expected and was at the front the whole way. Canadian Adam van Koeverden appeared the strongest for a while, but the Norwegian cam back strong in the final 250 metres.
The paddler from Flekkefjord crossed the line seven tenths of a second ahead of Van Koeverden, who ended up with silver. Bronze went to German Max Hoff.
The gold was Verås Larsen's second in the Olympic Games after winning the 1000-metre in Athens in 2004. In Beijing he claimed silver in the same distance and has taken a further bronze in the K2 1,000 metre event together with Nils Olav Fjeldheim in Athens
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Team manager Jarle Aambø was rendered speechless by the veteran's second Olympic triumph.
"I am still a little shaky. My God what an incredible performer. I am speechless," Aambø said to NTB.