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Page last updated at 11:07 GMT, Sunday, 22 August 2010 12:07 UK

Ed McKeever wins World Sprint Canoe gold in K1 200m

Ed McKeever

McKeever's world gold in new Olympic event

Britain's Ed McKeever is the new world champion of men's K1 200m racing after a convincing victory at the World Sprint Canoe Championships in Poland.

McKeever, already European champion, finished 0.348 seconds clear of his nearest rival, Germany's Ronald Rauhe.

"I am lost for words really," said McKeever. "I just want to thank whoever made the 200m an Olympic discipline."

Rachel Cawthorn took bronze in the K1 500m while Liam Heath and Jon Schofield were third in the K2 200m.

Tim Brabants could only finish fourth for Britain in the men's K1 500m race.

The shorter 200m distance becomes part of the Olympic programme for the first time at the London Games in 2012 and McKeever, who turns 27 next week, announced himself as an Olympic medal contender by taking gold in Poznan.

I thought I was on for another medal until I noticed the weed wrapped around my rudder

Tim Brabants

McKeever, from Bradford-on-Avon, finished in a time of 34.807 seconds with Rauhe and Poland's Piotr Siemionowski left to scrap for silver behind him.

"I am so happy with my performance and am looking forward to doing it again next year," he said.

Cawthorn, 21, added another 500m medal to the European bronze she won last month, this time beating Portugal's Teresa Portela to third place.

The Guildford paddler crossed the line in one minute 50.929 seconds, two-tenths ahead of Portela in a race won by Ukraine's Inna Osypenko-Radomska.

"I didn't feel very well yesterday or this morning when I woke up, but I just decided that I just need to give it my all," she said.

"I didn't wear my lucky hair bands or do any of my usual lucky stuff, I just decided I could do it.

"When I crossed the line I didn't know where I had finished, then it came up and I was so chuffed."

Heath and Schofield would have felt capable of winning their K2 200m final, but were beaten back into bronze-medal position in the closest of finishes.

Eventual winners France led home Spain by the tiny margin of eight thousandths of a second, with Britain five hundredths of a second further back.

Brabants, who won silver over the 1,000m distance on Saturday despite only recently returning to the sport after 18 months working as a doctor, was a clear eight-tenths of a second outside the medals on Sunday.

Meet sprint canoe star Rachel Cawthorn

His time of 1:39.785 left him adrift of Canada's Adam van Koeverden for bronze, while Sweden's Anders Gustafsson cruised to gold ahead of Slovakian Peter Gelle - but Brabants explained he faced more than just tough opposition during his race.

"I was feeling really good and thought I was on for another medal until I felt a drag on the boat, and at the end I noticed I had a lot of weed wrapped around my rudder," he said.

"It's really disappointing when that happens, although I am still delighted with my silver yesterday."

In canoeing, K1 denotes single kayak, meaning one person in a boat, while K2 refers to two-man kayaks.

In addition to the inclusion of 200m distances at London 2012, other recent changes to sprint canoeing's programme for the next Olympics have altered the focus for British canoeists in Poland.

The men's K1 500m is no longer an Olympic event, so Brabants is concentrating on the K1 1,000m - which remains on the programme, and in which he won gold at Beijing 2008.

By contrast, the women's programme focuses on shorter races.


Cawthorn is the European champion in the K1 1,000m discipline but it will not feature at the Games, so her ambition will be Olympic gold over 500m in 2012.

"It's been such an exciting championships and it puts us in a really strong position for securing Olympic places next year," said British coach Brendan Purcell.

"We also now have another world champion which is awesome, we are now seen as a serious threat across multiple events, and are really starting to challenge the pecking order.

"Our group of athletes now believe and expect to be in the final and challenging for medals."

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see also
Brabants takes world silver medal
21 Aug 10 |  Canoeing
Brabants goes from ward to water
01 Jul 10 |  Canoeing
Meet sprint canoe star Rachel Cawthorn
29 Jun 10 |  Canoeing
Training return tough - Brabants
18 Jun 10 |  Canoeing
Cawthorn claims Euro sprint gold
03 Jul 10 |  Canoeing
Cawthorn secures medal hat-trick
06 Jun 10 |  Canoeing
Canoeing tips
04 Aug 08 |  Canoeing
Get into canoeing
23 Jun 09 |  Canoeing

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