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Page last updated at 15:42 GMT, Sunday, 3 August 2008 16:42 UK

British canoeists' golden glint

Fiona Pennie, David Florence and Campbell Walsh
Fiona Pennie, David Florence and Campbell Walsh are well prepared

Britain's slalom canoe team are prepared to "gold standard" for the Beijing Olympics, believes their leader John Anderson.

Scots David Florence, Fiona Pennie and Campbell Walsh trained at Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park on Sunday.

"Every course is unique, but we've had four two-week training camps here," said Anderson.

"We've prepared to the gold standard. We have good technical paddlers and they are performing extremely well."

Nottingham-based Walsh, 30, is the only one of the trio with previous Games experience. He won a silver medal in the K1 single class in Athens in 2004.

Team GB's Fiona Pennie on her Olympic hopes

"I've been to the Games before, so I know a little bit about how it all works," he said after taking four runs down the course, which drops seven metres over its 250m length.

"What we need to do is practise as many different variations of gate positions and what we think are going to be the feature moves in all the main sections, because the course is only set the evening before and, come race day, we don't get to practise it at all."

Aberdeen-born Florence, who narrowly missed out on a place in the Athens 2004 squad, goes into the Beijing Games in good form and is looking forward to the challenge ahead.

It's a very tough course, probably the hardest artificial one around

Slalom canoeist David Florence

"In Athens, I didn't really come close to taking a spot in the team, but in the last few years I've really come on," he said.

"I am not really in awe of it, although I am very excited to be out here. I've come off the back of a successful year, I've done two major world races and picked up a medal at each of those.

"It's a very tough course, probably the hardest artificial one around. I've studied the course carefully, planned how I want to do it and if I come close to achieving that then I will be happy, whether that means I finish first or fifth."


see also
Kayak pair finally named for GB
18 Jul 08 |  Canoeing
Hemmings into Olympic qualifiers
05 May 08 |  Canoeing
Team GB for Beijing
21 Jul 08 |  Team GB


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