ED MCKEEVER won his heat in what looked like a comfortable race. He went hard off the start and got out in front straightaway but was clearly easing off the accelerator as the finish line approached. His finish time was 35.08 seconds from Novakovic of Serbia and Dudas of Hungary. It’s five through from each heat to the semi-finals.
GB Canoeing’s Twitter feed declared: “35.087 a good time but more to come from GB Ed McKeever.”
Because it’s the first time 200m has been in the Olympic programme, McKeever’s time – the fastest in the heats – is an official record. But we should expect quicker times in the semis and final.
In the Men’s C1 200m heat, RICHARD JEFFERIES got off to a good start, moved into third place behind Shtyl of Russia and Brendelof Germany. Shtyl finished in 41.37, Brendel in 41.51 and Jefferies came in a second later in 42.51.
Shtyl did not look unduly stressed – and, again under the system devised by the ICF, only one canoeist went out in the heats (because there are two semi-finals of 9 paddlers and there were 7 in heat 1 and six competitors in each of heats 2 and 3). To this untrained observer, the system seems odd, but at least the competitors appear to be trying – which is more than can be said earlier this week in the C1 1,000m heats.
In women’s K1, Royal’s JESS WALKER had a reasonable start and at half way was 2nd behind lane 6, Teresa Portela Rivas of Spain. Rivas won, Walker finished 4th, it was a very close finish with several boats crossing simultaneously… but she looked comfortable, her rate appearing to drop significantly in the final strokes.
In the men’s K2 200m, meanwhile, LIAM HEATH and JON SCHOFIELD finished in second place in the heat. This may not be significant but the Bulgarians were clearly delighted to win.
GB Canoeing’s view? “Photo for the win but they bossed that!… Liam & Jonny get second & comfortably through to the semis….”