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Page last updated at 16:38 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 17:38 UK

Florence through to slalom semis

EUROPEAN CANOE SLALOM CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham Dates: 28-31 May Coverage: Saturday - 1255-1430 BST, BBC One, 1600-1800 BST on red button; Sunday - 1400-1515 BST, BBC Two; Also on BBC Sport website (UK users only). Follow our man in Nottingham


Florence and Hounslow
Florence and Hounslow qualified seventh in their first major competition together

David Florence took his first step towards his aim of winning two European Championship events, qualifying for the semi-finals of the canoe doubles.

Florence and Richard Hounslow qualified seventh in Nottingham, in their first major competition together, and GB were top qualifiers in the C2 team event.

British women Louise Donington, Lizzie Neave and Laura Blakeman all made Saturday's kayak singles semi-finals.

In the women's K1 team event, GB were second, behind Slovakia.

Donington, 25, from Doncaster, was the pick of the British women in the K1.

The fastest woman on the course was Austrian Corrina Kuhnle, who clocked a time of 94.88 seconds.

Euros are 'career highlight' - Walsh

On Friday Florence, from Aberdeen, begins competition in the canoe single (C1) event, where he won Olympic silver in Beijing.

No slalom canoeist has ever won medals in two events at the same major championships.

"We have been training hard and looking forward to gauging how good we are. It seems to be going well," he said.

Defending C2 European champions Pavel and Peter Hochschorner of Slovakia recovered well from a disappointing first run that left them in 24th position, to qualify first.

CANOEING CATEGORIES EXPLAINED
C1 - one-person kneeling canoe
C2 - two-person kneeling canoe
K1 - one-person seated kayak

The competition is the first major slalom event in the UK for 14 years and the first meeting of top European paddlers since the Beijing Olympics last August.

Britain's Campbell Walsh - who starts his defence of his European kayak single title on Friday - said: "I've been on the senior team since 1999 and I've never competed in Great Britain in a major international.

"It's quite a highlight of my career, I really want a good performance."

"You tend to perform slightly better than average on your home course," Walsh, 31, told BBC Sport. "But there are eight or 10 guys in my event (K1) who are equal favourites.

606: DEBATE

"There are Olympic medallists here - the best guys in the world are all European, and they're all here - and just because I won the event last year doesn't really make me the outstanding favourite.

"It just puts me in there as one of the favourites, but on my home course it'd be nice to seize my opportunity and do it again."

Florence faces Beijing gold medallist Michal Martikan, of Slovakia, in the C1 competition, while the K1 Olympic champion, Germany's Alexander Grimm, goes up against Walsh.


Women's K1 (kayak single) qualifying:

1 Corinna Kuhnle (Aut) 94.88 seconds
2 Louise Donington (GB) 96.13
3 Melanie Pfeifer (Ger) 96.54

Other GB results:

6 Laura Blakeman 98.76
12 Lizzie Neave 100.83

Men's C2 (canoe double) qualifying:

1 Pavel Hochschorner/Peter Hochschorner (Svk) 92.43 seconds
2 Marcin Pochwala/Piotr Szczepanski (Pol) 95.94
3 Peter Skantar/Ladislav Skantar (Svk) 96.11

GB results:

7 David Florence/Richard Hounslow 97.71, 8 Tim Baillie/Etienne Stott 98.21, 19 Daniel Goddard/Colin Radmore 104.74

GB competitors on Friday:

Men's K1 (kayak single): Campbell Walsh, Huw Swetnam, Richard Hounslow

Men's C1 (canoe single): David Florence, Mark Proctor, Dan Goddard



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see also
Everest inspiration
28 May 09 |  Canoeing
Florence aiming for local gold
27 May 09 |  Canoeing
Florence takes aim for two medals
05 May 09 |  Canoeing
GB's Florence claims canoe silver
12 Aug 08 |  Canoeing
Grimm wins Germany's first gold
12 Aug 08 |  Canoeing
Campbell Walsh's guide to kayaking
11 Apr 08 |  Canoeing
Canoeing tips
04 Aug 08 |  Canoeing
Get into canoeing
23 Jun 09 |  Canoeing


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