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Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Saturday, 30 May 2009 18:20 UK

GB teams snatch two slalom golds

EUROPEAN CANOE SLALOM CHAMPIONSHIPS
Venue: Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham Dates: 28-31 May
Follow our man in Nottingham

By Ollie Williams
BBC Sport in Nottingham

Campbell Walsh, Richard Hounslow and Huw Swetnam

Highlights - GB win double canoeing gold

Britain's slalom canoeists claimed two gold medals in team events at the European Championships in Nottingham.

Louise Donington, Laura Blakeman and Lizzie Neave won gold in the women's K1 team event, ahead of Slovakia.

In Saturday's last event, the men's K1 team of Campbell Walsh, Richard Hounslow and Huw Swetnam added a second gold by less than a tenth of a second.

Britain also won men's C2 team silver, as well as bronze in the men's C2 individual event.

Neave reached the final of the women's individual K1 event but came last after a 50-second penalty for a missed gate.

Ollie Williams on Twitter
Tim Baillie's just drifted past, bronze medal proudly draped around his neck. Looks a bit small to me. The medal, not Tim

In the team events, Britain got off to a poor start as their team of David Florence, Mark Proctor and Daniel Goddard finished last in the men's C1 (canoe single) final, behind winners the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Poland.

But the women's K1 (kayak single) team of Donington, Blakeman and Neave produced an almost faultless performance in a time of 108.63.

They then watched anxiously as a hotly-tipped Slovakian team could only come home in 110.46, handing the British women gold.

"I have won a few silvers and bronzes but never gold at a major international event," said Blakeman.

"It's an achievement, especially given the quality of the competitors here, and I'm delighted.

"We stuck to our individual plans but had to adapt slightly to take other team members into account."

In the last run of the last event of the day, Britain wrapped up a second gold thanks to the K1 (kayak single) team of Walsh, Hounslow and Swetnam.

Despite an early two-second penalty, the trio thrilled their home crowd - attending the first major slalom event in the UK for 14 years - with a dash for gold.

606: DEBATE

They finished in a time of 94.62 seconds, just eight hundredths of a second ahead of second-placed Germany.

"I've had a good day," said Walsh. "I could see the line first and I let out a massive roar, but I wanted to make sure before I celebrated too much.

"The fans have been really loud - the good weather has brought them all out and it gives you a lot of confidence."

Hounslow added: "It's absolutely brilliant. We had a bit of a mistake at the top but it was amazing. We crossed the line and couldn't believe it, it was so close."

Britain's men's C2 (canoe double) team - comprising Baillie, Stott, Florence, Hounslow, Goddard and Colin Radmore - had earlier added silver.

The six men finished in 112.17 seconds, just outside the Czech Republic's winning time of 111.22, after France and Germany had both suffered 50-second penalties.

In the individual events, Florence and Hounslow - first to go in the men's C2 final - were dogged by a series of two-second penalties which left them well out of the running as the remaining nine pairs took to the course.

By contrast, Baillie and Stott put in an assured, confident run, holding their momentum but just failing to edge out the French pair of Damien Troquenet and Mathieu Voyemant.

Baillie and Stott held second place for a time, before a fine run from Pavel and Peter Hochschorner secured gold for the Slovakian brothers and pushed France down into second.

Czech duo Jaroslav Volf and Ondrej Stepanek, last to go, had their gold-medal hopes shattered by a 50-second time penalty for missing a gate.

"It was just really cool, a really nice feeling to have done it when there was so much building up to it," said Baillie.

"I had a lot of faith in us. I'm so glad we've managed to put our name on the map and I believe we deserve it."

Stott added: "London 2012 is tantalising - racing at home is a big deal.

"We're just going to drive forward. We don't know where it'll lead but we have a fascinating journey ahead of us."

Six pairs made it through the C2 final without registering any penalties, including the gold medal-winning Hochschorners, in a time of 101.20.

The second-placed French pair were just over two seconds back in 103.52, with Baillie and Stott taking bronze in a time of 104.37.

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

A third British duo, Goddard and Colin Radmore, finished 15th in the semi-final and missed the final.

Earlier, 21-year-old Neave sailed through her women's K1 semi-final run in fine form, 2.5 seconds outside Slovakian Jana Dukatova's time of 103.07.

But her dreams of a European title were dashed by a missed gate in the final, which incurs a 50-second penalty.

Slovakia's reigning Olympic champion Elena Kaliska, 27, recorded a penalty-free time of 104.24 seconds to win gold, beating France's Emilie Fer, whose actual time of 101.60 was tempered by two two-second penalties for touching gates.

Neave made it down the course in 111.39 seconds before her 50-second penalty was taken into account, leaving her a total time of 161.39.

The European Championships conclude on Sunday with the men's C1 (canoe single) semi-final and final.


Results

Women's K1 final:

1.Elena Kaliska (Svk) 104.24 seconds

2.Emilie Fer (Fra) 105.60

3.Mathilde Fichery (Fra) 107.56

10. Elizabeth Neave (Gbr) 161.39

Men's C2 final:

1.Pavel Hochschorner & Peter Hochschorner (Svk) 101.20

2.Damien Troquenet & Mathie Voyemant (Fra) 103.52

3.Timothy Baillie & Etienne Stott (Gbr) 104.37

Men's C1 team final:

1.Czech Republic 98.11

2.France 98.52

3.Germany 99.10

4.Poland 105.76

5.Great Britain 106.40

Women's K1 team final:

1.Great Britain 108.63

2.Slovakia 110.46

3.Germany 113.43

4.Czech Republic 118.22

5.Slovenia 174.38

Men's C2 team final:

1.Czech Republic 111.22

2.Great Britain 112.17

3.Poland 118.30

4.France 158.68

5.Germany 162.11

Men's K1 team final:

1.Great Britain 94.62

2.Germany 94.70

3.France 94.80



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see also
Florence through to second semi
29 May 09 |  Canoeing
Florence through to slalom semis
28 May 09 |  Canoeing
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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