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Last Updated: Friday, 20 August, 2004, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Kayak silver for Walsh
Campbell Walsh
Name: Campbell Walsh
Event: Men's K1 kayak
DOB: 26 November, 1977
Home: Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire
2000: 11th at European Championships
2002: Fourth at European Championships
2003: Second in World Cup (Penrith)
2004: Silver in World Cup (Athens); silver in World Cup (La Seu); fourth in European championships
Kayaker Campbell Walsh captured a silver medal for Great Britain in the men's K1 on Friday.

The Scot was originally placed third behind Frenchmen Benoit Peschier and Fabien Lefevre.

But officials later recognised a timing error and upgraded Walsh to second place, while downgrading Lefevre.

As the fastest qualifier, Walsh was last to go - but his run of 190.17 failed to better Peschier's time of 187.96. Lefevre ended on 190.99.

Walsh, making his first appearance on the Olympic stage, admitted missing out on gold was frustrating after his blistering display in the semi-final.

And afterwards he astonishingly revealed he had slowed up in the closing stages of his final run because he thought he had the gold in the bag.

"I thought I'd heard the commentator say I was in the lead coming up to the finish, so I eased off, so I'm not happy with that," the 26-year-old said.

"I kind of thought I had it but it turns out I was nowhere near it, so I'm a bit disappointed.

I was at the start line going for the gold, but as it turned out I didn't get it
Campbell Walsh
"I've got mixed feelings. That last run was a lot slower than the first one.

"The first one I was very happy with the way I attacked the course, and I was flying until a big mistake between gates 17 and 18 near the end. But a big rescue put me in the lead and I was happy.

"The second run was just a few seconds slower. Partly because of some mistakes due to white water, it's just the way it goes.

"I was at the start line going for the gold, but as it turned out I didn't get it."

The confusion was blamed on inaccurate readings from the automatic timing cameras.

The official explanation from the results service said that Walsh's finish time was changed "due to water projection in the starting photocells just before the start", while Lefevre finished his run "under the automatic camera so his time was taken manually".

Walsh came to Athens in top form - winning silver at World Cup events in Athens and La Seu.

His Olympic silver medal was Britain's second success on the white water in Athens - Helen Reeves captured bronze in the women's K1 on Wednesday.

But a third medal was not to be as Nick Smith and Stuart Bowman suffered disappointment in the men's C2 - also on Friday.

The British duo finished ninth in their semi-final on 114.02 after hitting three of the 20 gates.

Slovakia duo Pavol Hochschorner and Peter Hochschorner took gold in 207.16, while Marcus Becker and Stefan Henze, of Germany, won silver in 210.98.

Stratford-born Smith and Londoner Bowman, who narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in Sydney in 2000, were bitterly disappointed with their performance.

"I'm just totally devastated really because I knew I was going in chasing a medal," said Smith.

British canoeists Nick Smith and Stuart Bowman
Smith and Bowman had high hopes of winning a medal in Athens

"We were both so confident about winning a medal if not a gold one - underachievement is the word.

"We must be two of the top paddlers in the world but we've struggled to put it on the podium at times and I don't know why. We'll have to look at that."

Bowman added: "We were both really in a good frame of mind and got off to a good start and then just made a couple of mistakes and on this course it follows you down.

"We got off-line around gate nine and 10 and really didn't recover until gate 15 or 16.

"What topped it off was the move to the finish when I was a bit late with my left hand turn which cost us time and another penalty.

"I'm as disappointed as I've ever been. At the last Olympics we thought we could win a medal but we were outsiders. This year we felt we were in there with a very good chance of a medal.

"We've missed our chance now, it's all over and that hurts."





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