Canoe sprint: Team GB's Ed McKeever wins gold medal at Eton Dorney

Bronze medal success for the two-man crew of Jon Schofield and Liam Heath too

Ed McKeever stormed to gold for Britain in the 200m kayak sprint at Eton Dorney.

There was also bronze medal success for the two-man crew of Jon Schofield and Liam Heath.

McKeever, 28, from Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, led from the start in his race, crossing the line ahead of Spain's Saul Craviotto Rivero and Canada's Mark de Jonge.

Schofield and Heath, both 27, were just behind the gold-winning Russian pair of Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko for much of their K2 race 200m contest, and then lost out at the finish to the Belarus crew of Raman Piatrushenka and Vadzim Makhneu in the race for silver.

In the women's K1 200m, Jess Walker, 22, from Hampton Hill, London, made the final but finished in seventh place.

The race was won by New Zealand's young kayaker, 23-year-old Lisa Carrington. The men's 200m canoe sprint was won by Ukraine's Yuri Cheban.

Today's results take Britain's medal haul in canoeing to four, achieving their pre-Games target. The medals come after Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie won gold in the canoe slalom last week, while David Florence and Richard Hounslow took silver in the same event.

Schofield told BBC1: "That was a long race. I didn't think we were going to make it to the line.

"The last day had been horrible. We weren't happy with the heats and we were really worried coming into this.

"But Liam showed that he goes quiet, he thinks, he stews, but he comes out with the right reaction. That start was amazing and we just held it."

McKeever's time of 36.346 seconds was slightly slower than yesterday's heats and semi-finals as he battled against a headwind.

Speaking to the BBC before the medal ceremony, he said he woke up this morning at 5am "like a kid at Christmas wanting to open my presents".

"I am going to get that present in a minute.

"I was really just focused on the first two or three strokes and I wanted to nail those and get out cleanly."

Asked later how he felt about being dubbed the "Usain Bolt of the water", McKeever added: "Luckily I have the gold medal to go with it now. I am more willing of that tagline."

He continued: "I am just so pleased that I could do well. I was really buzzing, in the zone and wanting to do well."

He admitted he thought he might struggle with the headwind, adding: "Because I am one of the lighter guys I am more affected by the wind.

"I was kind of out clean (off the start line) and just held on. I am just so happy. I am just so happy that I can contribute to the medals table. I haven't actually seen many other sports. It's literally been canoeing, canoeing, canoeing."

McKeever sang the national anthem as he received his medal in front of 30,000 spectators packed into the grandstands.

He continued: "It has been quite frustrating in some aspects not being able to go out late and socialise because you are concentrating on racing. But I will have a little bit of time off now.

"I am thinking of going to the seaside at some point but obviously there will be a wedding and a honeymoon.

"I knew coming into this that I was ready. I just wanted to go out and do my best race. If I did that, I knew I would come away with something.

"I knew I have always been a powerful, speedy athlete. This is one of those sports, it takes all shapes and sizes. It just shows these things don't really matter."

He added: "I turned my phone off a couple of days ago. I have sent a couple of tweets sporadically. The good thing is that you can turn your phone off if you want to.

"Luckily the crowd helped to cheer me on. It gave me a buzz, sitting there on the start line when they announced my name and got a cheer. It made my hair stand on end."

In the men's 200m canoe sprint final, Ukrainian Yuri Cheban took the gold in a time of 42.291 seconds, ahead of Lithuanian Jevgenij Shuklin in second and Russia's Ivan Shtyl, who took bronze.

The 23-year-old New Zealander Lisa Carrington won gold in the women's 200m kayak sprint in a time of 44.638 seconds. The silver medal went to Ukrainian Inna Osypenko-Radomska, while the Hungarian Natasa Douchev Janics took bronze.

Walker, who missed out on a medal, said: "I enjoyed the race. I think I may give the K1 500m a go.

"I think I might try and fight for that over the next four years. There are some girls out there who just train for the 200m and don't reach the finals. If you're just training for one event it's quite a big risk."

Ed McKeever factfile

1983: Born August 27 in Bath. Home town: Bradford on Avon.

2001: Debuts for Team GB at the Junior World Championships in Brazil (MK1 500m).

2005: Ninth in the World Championships in Zagreb, Croatia (MK1 200m).

2007: Seventh in World Championships in Duisberg, Germany. (MK4 200m).

2009: Places 14th in the European Championships in Milan, Italy. (MK2 1000m).

2010: Gold in two World Cup meetings. (MK1 200m).

2010: Gold in the World Championship in Poznan, Poland. (MK1 200m).

2011: Gold in the Olympic test event at Dorney Lake (MK1 200m).

2012: Secures three gold medal wins in World Cup meetings. (MK1 200m).

August 11 - Wins gold in men's K1 200m.

Liam Heath factfile

1984: Born August 17 in Guildford, Surrey.

1994: Starts kayaking after being introduced to the sport as a holiday activity at Wey Kayak Club.

2009: Forms partnership with Jon Schofield after new a race format over 200m is introduced.

2010: Third in World Championships in Poznan with Schofield in the two-man kayak sprint. First in K2 at European Championships and World Cup series.

2011: Second in World Championships and first again at European Championships. Second place at two World Cup series.

2012: Selected for Team GB's Olympic squad. Wins the European Championships for the third time in a row.

August 11 - Wins bronze on Olympic debut.

Jon Schofield factfile

1985: Born on May 10 in Petersfield, Hampshire.

2002: After being selected for GB's junior team, Schofield wins the Junior World Championships in the canoe slalom.

2007: Makes the switch to flatwater kayaking. Forms partnership with Ben Brown and achieves ninth place at the World Championships in the old format over 500m.

2008: Fails to qualify for the Olympic Games in Beijing.

2009: Forms partnership with Liam Heath after new a race format over 200m is introduced.

2010: Third in World Championships in Poznan with Heath in the two-man kayak sprint. First in K2 at European Championships and World Cup series. Graduates from Loughborough University with a degree in human biology.

2011: Second in World Championships and first again at European Championships. Second place at two World Cup series.

2012: Selected for Team GB's Olympic squad. Wins the European Championships for a third time in a row.

August 11 - Wins bronze on Olympic debut.

PA

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