Kayak: Team GB's Rachel Cawthorn fades at Eton Dorney


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The Independent Online

Rachel Cawthorn admitted she was so nervous ahead of her kayak final today that she was sick.

The 23-year-old British athlete finished sixth in the women's K1 500 metres, behind Hungary's Danuta Kozak, who claimed gold.

After winning her heat, Cawthorn was in the hunt for a medal.

But she said the experience of competing in her first Olympics will stand her in good stead.

Cawthorn, from Guildford, Surrey, said: "I just wish I could have finished a bit further up.

"After what I did in the heat and semi, I knew I was better than what I thought I was. With all the crowd here, it makes you want to win a medal even more to experience it even more.

"I am a bit disappointed to finish where I did."

She added: "It just seemed to be over really quickly. All that training and all that time, just so much thinking about it. It is now just done and I don't know what to think.

"I had a good start and I think that in the next 100m I just didn't nail as well as I did before. I probably needed to be a bit braver, to just hit it. I was probably just a bit too far down to come back at the end.

"I kind of get the whole Olympic cycle thing a bit more now that I have raced the finished product and it makes me more aware going in to the next cycle why you train those four years.

"It was really incredible out there and this is where you want to be at your best.

"I just tried to think of it as just another race but after the K4 yesterday being so close to a medal and then seeing what I could do in the semis, made me know that I was in with a chance, that I wasn't miles off.

"It was hard not think about that this morning and last night. I didn't really get any breakfast in, well I did, but it came out.

"I was trying to think about the process and use the crowd at the end."

Louisa Sawers and Abigail Edmonds were never in a hunt for a medal today as they competed in B final of the women's K2 500m, eventually finishing third.

Edmonds will now go to St Peter's College, Oxford, to study maths, where she may be joined by discuss thrower Lawrence Okeye, who has a place to read law.

Edmonds said: "The maths has been a really useful distraction during the games because when you're not racing, you need something completely different to switch your mind to - something that means you have no room for sidelines of thoughts about racing and how you're going to do.

"The first year and a half I know I am going to have to step up the amount of study but then after I am such an active person that I am going to have to do something.

"I am not closing the door on kayaking but I just know it is going to have to take a back seat.

"I know I am not going to have an easy ride if I do come back."

Sawers said she also hoped to pursue other sports, including outdoor swimming after the games.

She said: "The Olympic experience has been amazing. I would do it again, any day. In every sport, the crowd have been brilliant."