Brabants eager to add to compatriots' medal haul

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The Independent Online

World champion Tim Brabants admits he has been inspired by Great Britain's medal-winning exploits elsewhere in these Games and now he has begun competing he wants to get in on the act.

The 31-year-old doctor coasted through his heat in the 1,000m K1 kayak event, winning by almost two seconds and ensuring he skipped the semi-finals and went straight into gold medal contention.

He returns to the Shunyi Olympic Rowing-Canoeing Park for his heat in the 500m K1 today and is bursting with anticipation at the thought of winning medals for the team.

"I have been itching to get racing. I've been here since the day before the opening ceremony and been watching people win medals every day – it is quite an inspiring thing," he said.

"It shows the BOA [British Olympic Association] are doing an excellent job looking after us; UK Sport and the Lottery funding has made a big difference and is starting to show now with us bringing home the medals. Hopefully we will have another successful week."

Brabants finished the 1,000m course in 3mins 27.828sec, well clear of Hungarian Zoltan Benko. "It was comfortable rather than easy. Some people said it looked easy but it is never easy in an Olympic Games when you have other world class athletes there," added the Nottingham Canoe Club member.

"It went exactly to plan. I knew I was strong enough to win that heat with the idea of going straight to the final. That is a big advantage because tomorrow I've got the 500m heats and it will give me a day of rest before the 500m semi, which is going to be hard on Thursday.

"The plan was to get a good start, settle into a solid pace throughout the rest of the race and then respond to what other people were doing around me. There's no point trying to win by 10 lengths just at the moment."