Best ever medal haul for GB Paracanoe team at Sprint European Championships
On a day when the flow of medals for the world’s most successful paracanoe nation never slowed, Britain finished its best ever Canoe Sprint European Championships in Brandenburg this afternoon with seven gold and two silver medals.
A year ago the team had won five gold, two silver and one bronze, highlighting the advances made by the squad which trains full time in Nottingham with the benefit of UK Sport Lottery funding.
On a large, choppy lake that competitors described as resembling ‘an ocean’, Britain’s Ian Marsden produced the first gold of the day in the Men’s K1 A (Arms).
A silver medallist at last year’s Europeans he had difficulties right at the start of today’s final when a rogue wave unbalanced his boat but he came back strongly, his time of 50.612 seconds just 0.25 of a second ahead of Hungarian Andras Rozbora.
“My boat caught a bit of a wave at the back end and caused the nose to go right a bit, then left a bit but in the last 50 metres I got more into my rhythm and it was okay from there.”
Marsden said before adding that being based in Nottingham, the GB squad is used to testing conditions.
“The GB athletes are probably the best prepared for these conditions because we train in them all the time at Nottingham where it's never nice. They did say it would be a challenging lake. It's a big open space with a constant wash and waves all the time. We didn't have our fastest times but I’m pleased to win and it’s a stepping stone to the World Championships in Moscow which is the main competition of the year.”
Further golds followed for Martin Tweedy and Andrea Green in the respective men’s and women’s V1 LTA (Legs, Trunk, Arms), and Anne Dickins retained her title in the K1 LTA.
Jeanette Chippington is the current World Champion in three events and today lived up to her reputation of dominating different events. Not only did she win golds in the K1 A and V1 A today, she set new world records in both. she said:
“I felt quite pressurised going into it because I was the favourite and you feel that everyone is expecting you to do well. So I feel relieved to have won and I did two really good times which I was very pleased with.”
Emma Wiggs who yesterday won Britain’s first gold of the regatta in the V1 TA, followed up today with silver in the K1 TA.
The day’s other silver went to a relative newcomer Jonny Young. Competing in his first ever international in the V1 TA event, the Belfast 29 year old had in yesterday’s heats set the world’s fastest time. Today he finished just behind Italy’s Pier Alberto Buccoliero who lowered that time again.
GB Canoeing’s Paralympic Programme Manager Steve Harris is delighted the way his team performed and having seen the improvements made by other countries this week, he is determined to keep Britain ahead of the game. He said:
“We are very pleased with the results and the professional way our athletes prepared for and executed their races. We've won more medals than we did last year but it's obvious to everyone that globally the standard is continuing to rise and in the events where we won medals, the competition is much closer to us than it was before. So the gap is closing and there are new athletes coming out all the time. The world is wising up to paracanoe and it's only a couple of years now to Rio so the kettle is starting to boil.”
GB Paracanoe team results from 2014 Sprint European Championships
Men’s K1 A: Ian Marsden (Stoke on Trent, Trentham CC) GOLD
Men’s V1 LTA: Martin Tweedy (Stoke-on-Trent, club: Nottingham CC) GOLD
Men’s V1 TA: Jonny Young (Belfast/Nottingham) SILVER
Men’s V1 A: Adam Simmons (Henfield) 4th
Men’s K1 TA: Liam Twigg (Rotherham) 4th
Men’s K1 LTA: Rob Oliver (Birmingham, club: Solihull CC) 5th
Women’s K1 A: Jeannette Chippington (Maidenhead, club: Longridge CC) GOLD
Women’s V1 A: Jeannette Chippington GOLD
Women’s V1 TA: Emma Wiggs (Glasgow/Nottingham) GOLD
Women’s V1 LTA: Andrea Green (Derby, club: Nottingham CC) GOLD
Women’s K1 LTA: Anne Dickins (Berkhamsted/Oxted, club: Wey KC) GOLD
Women’s K1 TA: Emma Wiggs SILVER
For the official website visit: http://emcanoesprintbrandenburg.de/en/