Third time lucky! Doctor grabs gold for Team GB

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The Independent Online

Team GB got just what the doctor ordered today as qualified medic Tim Brabants scooped gold in his kayak - the 18th of the games.

The 31-year-old athlete led from the start in the 1000m final at the Shunyi rowing park.

"That was exactly the race plan we wanted, that is what we have been working on all year how to race an Olympic final," said Brabants. "In the first two strokes there was no doubt I was going to win the race. No-one was going to come past me, I felt fantastic."

He won bronze in Sydney and came fifth four years ago and was one of the favourites heading into the final having comfortably won his K1 heat earlier in the week.

"I know it is easy to say when I won but right from the start line I was going to win the race. Four years ago I had unfinished business. I was good four years ago but I wasn't this good. The guys at the last Olympics deserved to get those medals."

Chertsey-born Brabants, who lives in Walton-on-Thames, works as a hospital doctor when he is not competing.

"It doesn't really feel real but that was what we have been working towards. The times when you are absolutely falling to pieces in training this is what it is for and what it has resulted in."

Brabants won from defending Olympic champion Eirik Larsen, who came on strong at the finish to finish second.