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Page last updated at 12:22 GMT, Saturday, 3 July 2010 13:22 UK

GB kayaker Rachel Cawthorn wins European sprint crown

Rachel Cawthorn

British canoeists take three European golds

Britain's Rachel Cawthorn continued her superb season by storming to victory in the single kayak 1000m at the European Championships in Trasona, Spain.

The 21-year-old from Guildford led from 200m and powered away from halfway to win by more than two seconds.

Germany's Franziska Weber came second with Pole Beata Mikolajczyk third ahead of Hungarian legend Katlin Kovacs.

"European champion, it feels really, really good, but I don't think it has quite sunk in yet," Cawthorn said.

"The plan was to go quite hard in the first half, see where everyone else was up to and then try to go flat out in the second half. It kind of worked.

OLLIE WILLIAMS' BLOG

"With 300m to go I thought I was ahead, but kept thinking there was someone on the far side but it was just the TV camera boat going alongside. I thought it's not going away!

"Then with 200m to go I thought to myself, 'I'm winning, I'm winning' but soon realised I needed to stay focused. I couldn't believe that [multiple world champion] Kovacs wasn't there. I felt I could do this. I had a lot of energy in me."

Cawthorn, who won two golds (1000m and 500m) and a bronze (200m) at her last World Cup event in Germany last month, will aim for more glory when she competes in the 500m race on Sunday.

"I know I'm fit enough to keep going," she added. "I won't be afraid to go out hard because I know I can keep going to the end. It gives me a lot of confidence."

606: DEBATE

Cawthorn becomes the second British woman to win a European gold, after Olympian Lucy Wainwright won the 200m in Milan in 2008.

"Rachel had a perfect race," said her coach Miklos Simon. "She kept up with the others off the start and kept her power at the finish. I am really happy with her progress.

"We will sit down and analyse the race and work out a very good race plan for the 500m. I really hope that if she paddles the same way she did today, she can get a really good result. I am delighted."

Meanwhile Olympic champion Tim Brabants finished eighth in the men's K1 1000m on his return to international competition for the first time in 18 months.

Brabants, a qualified doctor who took 18 months out following his triumph in Beijing to return to work at a Nottingham hospital, slipped to fourth at the halfway point and suffered for his lack of racing. He also competes in the 500m on Sunday.

The men's quadruple kayak (K4) crew also finished eighth in a strong race won by Germany with Olympic silver medallists Slovakia leading for most of the race before slipping to fourth.

Jon Boyton and Ed Rutherford came fourth in the men's K2 (kayak double) 1000m B final.



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see also
Brabants goes from ward to water
01 Jul 10 |  Canoeing
Cawthorn secures medal hat-trick
06 Jun 10 |  Canoeing
Cawthorn eases to gold in Germany
05 Jun 10 |  Canoeing
Canoeing tips
04 Aug 08 |  Canoeing
Get into canoeing
23 Jun 09 |  Canoeing


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