Canoeing: David Florence looks forward after wobbly start


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The Independent Online

David Florence is concentrating on tomorrow's canoe slalom C1 semi-finals after his initially shaky run.

The silver medallist from Beijing was 13th overall after the first run, one place outside the qualifying spots.

Florence composed himself for his second attempt at the Lee Valley White Water Centre and posted a time of 93.04sec, good enough for fifth overall.

“I’m sure that all my family and friends were a little bit worried,” said the 29-year-old. “I was certainly under pressure after a not very good first run.

“But I’ve been in situations before where I’ve needed a good second one.

“This is a special atmosphere, I’ve not been in anything like it before and I’ve never gone last as world No1 before.

“I have never heard noise like that, it was just amazing, and I knew I had to just focus on it gate by gate and it was good enough.

“The course is very fast and it’s got tough bits all over that can catch you out. If things start to get on top of you it’s hard to get the run back together but it’s the same for everyone.”

Compatriot Richard Hounslow qualified for Wednesday’s semi-finals in the K1 competiton.

He followed Florence’s lead in producing a better second run, his time of 89.12sec seeing him qualify in 11th.

“I didn’t go out there to win qualification, I went there to make sure I made the final and I have done that,” said Hounslow.

“You have to believe in yourself. Of course you’re only human so doubts enter your mind but in the end it’s about putting that aside.”