British Canoeing is delighted to announce the senior Canoe Sprint team that will be competing in this year’s European and World Championships.
The primary selection regatta, which was held at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham last weekend, saw a number of athletes in competition for a place on the squad heading to the European Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria on 14-16 July and the World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic taking place 23-27 August.
Leading the charge for medals is Wey KC paddler and Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Liam Heath MBE who will look to defend his European K1 200m title in Plovdiv. It has been a successful season for Liam so far, after claiming a gold medal at World Cup 2 in Szeged, whilst he earned second place at World Cup 3 in Belgrade. Liam took part in the selection regatta last weekend and posted some fantastic times as he eased through his heat and took victory in the final.
Jess Walker, who also competed in Rio last year, will contest the women’s K1 200m. Jess claimed the K1 200m silver medal at the European Championships in Moscow last year, and will be looking for further success this season at both the European and World Championships.
The three time Olympian posted an impressive time and win at the regatta, and will be hoping for more of the same later in the month.
Traveling to the World Championships, Lani Belcher will be taking part in the K1 5000m, fresh from her medal success at the Marathon European Championships in Portugal, where she took silver on her return to the discipline. Having won silver in the K1 5000m in Milan two years ago, Lani will be looking to go one better in Racice in August.
Angela Hannah, Lani’s K2 500m partner in Rio, will be linking up with Hannah Brown at both international competitions, competing in K2 200m and K2 500m.
There is a first senior call-up for Magnus Gregory, coached by Tom Daniels at Longridge CC in the K1 1000m and K1 5000m at the World Championships. Magnus claimed a silver medal in the Junior World Championships last year in the K1 1000m, and a European Junior title in the K2 1000m.
Magnus came out on top in a closely fought battle with Tom Lusty from Solihull, who also makes his senior Championships debut in the K1 500m.
Meanwhile, heading to the European Championships is Jonathan Boyton, who will be competing in three events across the weekend: K1 500m, K1 1000m and K1 5000m.
Women’s K1 500m winner last weekend, Rebii Simon has opted to focus on the World U23 Championships at the end of the month, opening up a great opportunity for Emily Lewis in Plovdiv, coming off the back of her second place finish in the Nottingham regatta.
Heather Williams, Canoe Sprint Performance Manager, said: “Congratulations to all the athletes who have earned selection to the team, we have a real mix of experience and new blood eager to make its mark on the international senior stage, which is a great place to be in year one of a new Olympic cycle.
The World Championships at the end of August is our primary target for the year, however we are also really looking forward to bench marking ourselves against the best in Europe next week.– Heather Williams - Canoe Sprint Performance Manager
A number of athletes have also been added to the Junior World Championship team, following the selection regatta at the weekend, joining Ieuan James and Charlie Smith who had previously been announced.