Medal Rush at the Olympics
What an absolutely cracking day for Canoe Slalom!
Let me just try to sum up briefly the journey the guys went on to winning those medals!
Rich Hounslow was about to retire from the sport several years ago after 10 years or so as one of our top K1 paddlers.
Dave Florence, the C1 silver medalist in Beijing and friend of Rich’s suggested they so something that has never been done before – compete and train in their respective individual classes and in C2 together!
Rich brought it and they set out on an intense training programme.
Tim Baillile and Etienne Stott have been our best C2 boat of a while but have had their training devastated by broken bones and injuries in the last few years. They had had some very impressive 4th places but still longed to medal on the big stage.
Hounslow/Florence qualified for the Olympics in their individual classes of K1 and C1 and managed to come first in C2 Olympic selection. An incredible feat.
As they were already going to Games in their individual classes we could take another C2 boat: In come Baillie/Stott- perhaps their last chance to prove themselves on an international stage.
Dave Florence was ranked world number 1 coming into his Olympic C1 race on Tuesday – his run wasn’t up to his usual standards and devastatingly he didn’t make the final
Richard Honslow met a similar fate in his K1 on Wednesday, it just wasn’t his day and he crashed out.
Any Olympic glory rested with their C2 performance. They had to pick themselves up from the devastating blow of not performing at your best at the Olympics to perform as a pair.
Up comes Thursday.
Baillie/Stott have to make a spin and lost a lot of time but scrape through as the last boat to the final (but only 1.85 seconds behind first place.)
First place in the semi final was Florence/Hounslow. Team GB will be coming down first and last in the final.
Baillie/Stott flew down the course as the crowds rawed and they put down a clean run with a time 2 seconds quicker than Florence/Hounslow’s winning semi final run! Wow. Things were looking epic. Team Baillie/Stott were going wild in the stands.
Second to last to come down was the infamous Hochschorner twins who were going for their 4th consecutive gold medal! These guys have totally dominated C2 in recent history.
They fail to beat Baillie/Stott just like everyone else in the final.
Team GB have definitely have their first ever canoe slalom Gold. The crowd go wild. But we just dont know who it will be.
Florence/Hounslow lay down a steaming run, shredding up the course and were ahead of Baillie/Stott until the sprint finish where they some how lost 0.37 seonds which still safely put them into silver. The stands go wilds. The 4 of they go wild. Elation!
A little video I just threw together from the day!
Some more stats
1)1st Olympic Gold in Canoe Slalom.
2)Two British boats on an Olympic podium for the first time.
3)First crew boat medal for GB Canoeing – Slalom and Sprint.
4)First Olympic C2 medal for Great Britain
5)David Florence first British Canoe Slalom athlete to win two Olympic medals.
Don’t forget to get your Baillie/Stott stamps http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19101604
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