Canoe sprint: Team GB's Tim Brabants begins defence of Olympic title with qualification for final

 

Defending Olympic champion Tim Brabants thanked the Eton Dorney crowd today for their support after he scraped into the kayak sprint final.

With the strong cross-winds at Eton Dorney, the 35-year-old was drawn in lane one in the semis - the most exposed to the elements - and battled to make the top four.

He was outside of qualification at halfway, but thanked the thousands gathered in the grandstands for their support over the last 200 metres, which he said helped push him over the finish line four hundredths of a second faster than the Bulgarian Miroslav Kirchev.

Brabants, from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, has already admitted it will be tricky to successfully defend his title on Wednesday.

After ripping his right pectoral tendon during a training session at the end of 2010, the accident and emergency doctor has battled to return to full fitness and was noticeably slower than the leading sprinter over 1,000m, Canadian Adam van Koeverden.

Brabants said: "I knew I had my work cut out but the roar of the crowd is incredible and they just shouted 'go, go, go' all the way to the end.

"The crowd is incredible. You hear the rowers talking about it because we're staying in the same place. It's an amazing experience having the crowd there.

"In lane one, I could really appreciate that. The noise was phenomenal."

In the women's K4 500m, Jess Walker, Angela Hannah, Louisa Sawers and Rachel Cawthorn made it through to the final.

Despite finishing second in their heat, the team did not qualify automatically as a fastest loser as the second race was faster.

But they managed to fight for fourth place in the semi-final and qualify for Wednesday - a boost as the team has prioritised the K4 ahead of the individual events.

Hannah, 26, said: "We fought really hard in the heat and hoped to go through in that one but we did what we needed to do in the semi-final."

Walker, 22, said the team had improved noticeably since they decided to switch the order in which they sit in the boat.

She had been in the second seat but was now driving the team at the front of the boat.

Walker said: "We have improved a lot. We have changed our crew around to make it stronger and I am really pleased with that change. It was a brave decision to make."

But there was disappoint for Richard Jefferies, who failed to qualify in the men's C1 1,000m final.

Spotted through the talent identification scheme, the 25-year-old from Loughborough, Leicestershire, was always a rank outsider and is concentrating his efforts on the 200m sprint event later in the week.

He said: "It was really good just to be out there. The 200m start is next to all that (the grandstands) so it is good to get in that zone.

"All my 200m stuff that I have been doing, I am really confident of doing well."

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
techCould new invention save millions in healthcare bills?
Sport
David Moyes gets soaked
sport Moyes becomes latest manager to take part in the ALS challenge
Voices
A meteor streaks across the sky during the Perseid Meteor Shower at a wind farm near Bogdanci, south of Skopje, Macedonia, in the early hours of 13 August
voicesHagel and Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise, says Robert Fisk
News
peopleEnglishman managed quintessential Hollywood restaurant Chasen's
Life and Style
food + drinkHarrods launches gourmet food qualification for staff
Arts and Entertainment
Michael Flatley prepares to bid farewell to the West End stage
danceMichael Flatley hits West End for last time alongside Team GB World champion Alice Upcott
Life and Style
Horst P Horst mid-fashion shoot in New York, 1949
fashionFar-reaching retrospective to celebrate Horst P Horst's six decades of creativity
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
i100
Life and Style
Black Ivory Coffee is made using beans plucked from elephants' waste after ingested by the animals
food + drinkFirm says it has created the "rarest" coffee in the world
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T plays live in 2007 before going on hiatus from 2010
arts + entsSinger-songwriter will perform on the Festival Republic Stage
Life and Style
food + drinkThese simple recipes will have you refreshed within minutes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

Radio 1’s new top ten

The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

Florence Knight's perfect picnic

Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

Mark Hix's summery soups

Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

Tim Sherwood column

I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition