Amazing scenes at the Olympics yesterday as Great Britain brought home not one but two medals in the men’s C2 canoe slalom on the final day of competition at the Lee Valley whitewater centre yesterday. It was also the first time Britain had ever won a gold in canoe slalom at an Olympic Games.
The atmosphere at the Hertfordshire canoeing venue was electric after Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott shocked the highly partisan crowd at the slalom venue by defeating three-times Olympic champions Pavol and Peter Hochschorner from Slovakia to win the event.
David Florence, a silver medalist from Beijing, and Richard Hounslow, finished second, making it an historic one/two in an Olympic Games for Great Britain canoeing.
“To win is just mad and for David and Richard to finish second is just fantastic. It was electrifying and to come away with gold is a dream come true,” said Baillie.
In the press conference afterwards, all four men paid warm tribute to the Hochschorner brothers, describing them as having set the ‘gold standard’ in C2 and being the boat everyone measured themselves against.
BCU chief executive Paul Owen, speaking moments after the two crews finished, described the pairs’ results as ‘amazing’ and ‘incredible’. Celebrating alongside BOA Performance Director Sir Clive Woodward and the BCU’s National Performance Director John Anderson, Owen said: “It’s a really great day for British canoeing.”
GB Canoeing points out that the results represent a number of ‘firsts’:
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.
- 2008: David Florence, men’s C1, silver
- 2004: Campbell Walsh, men’s K1, silver and Helen Reeves, women’s K1, bronze
- 2000: Paul Ratcliffe, men’s K1, silver
- 1992: Gareth Marriott, men’s C1, silver
(Pictures by Royal Canoe Club)