Fischer’s Olympic canoe plans in disarray

Birgit Fischer in training
Birgit Fischer in training

The comeback plans of eight-time Olympic champion canoeist Birgit Fischer appear in disarray this weekend after routine medical checks revealed a heart condition.

The German paddler, who was aiming to compete in London this summer, said that a cardiac arrhythmia poses a problem – her doctor has banned her from taking part in the German Olympic trials this weekend.

German team doctor Wolfgang Dillmann said Fischer’s electrocardiogram produced results “that shouldn’t come up in performance sports.”

Dillmann added that further tests would be required to assess Fischer’s condition.

She could still qualify for the London Games but her chances appear slim.

Fischer says she’ll keep trying. She’s been training in Germany and had some weeks in Australia as well but according to reports she is still off the pace required to make the German Olympic team.

“Those who know me know that I will cling to any straw that becomes available,” she said. “I feel fitter than I did before my last comeback in 2003.”