In the last race of the weekend at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Szeged, Richmond paddler Lizzie Broughton took a well-earned silver medal in the women’s K1 5000m.
In the top three from start to finish 30-year-old Lizzie battled all the way with China’s Danni Song and home crowd favourite Vanda Kiszli, who were always just ahead. But Broughton hung on and survived a few of the usual clashes in this tactical race and whilst she crossed the line in third, a subsequent disqualification for Song saw here swiftly elevated to silver on the podium.
That concluded a great weekend of racing for Lizzie who finished an outstanding fourth in the women’s K1 1000m on Friday and speaking after the race she said: “I feel I raced a lot stronger than I have ever raced before. It is good to see where I am against everyone else and to come back home with a medal in the 5km was the icing on the cake.
I had in my mind to stay out of trouble for as long as possible and to try and get to the front of the race. I had a bit of luck at the first climb out onto the pontoon and then I just tried to stick with them and stay out of trouble.– Lizzie Broughton (Richmond)
New at the helm for the 2018 season, Great Britain’s Canoe Sprint Head Coach, Rene Olsen, declared himself satisfied overall with performances this weekend, as the first international regatta of the year came to a close in Hungary today.
There were 11 boats in competitive action in the finals session and it was an opportunity for all the team to blow away the racing cobwebs and get back into the groove ahead of World Cup 2 in Duisburg next week.
Royal Canoe Club’s Jess Walker was one of the stand-out performers today in the WK1 200m A Final. She nailed her start and battled through to the line in a fast and competitive race to finish a strong sixth.
Speaking after the race she said: “I am really happy with this weekend, where I chose to focus just on the 200m. I felt I had a lot to work on after the heats and focused on the start for my semi. I didn’t get it quite right again, but I nailed it in the final.
“I was more relaxed going into the final and really enjoyed it. I still have a bit of work to do at the back end, but I feel I am up there as one of the fastest. There is a really fast group of about 15 women, all fighting for the medals which is really exciting.”
Scotland’s Katie Reid also showed that a hard winter’s training is paying off, as she put herself in contention this weekend in the WC1 200m, an event that is rapidly growing in strength in depth with its inclusion on the Olympic programme.
A PB in the heats and a strong semifinal performance taking second, saw her line-up in the A Final to finish ninth overall, a good result after a busy weekend doubling up in the women’s C2 200m with partner, Nia Tomos.
Katie said: “The heats and semi were good but I have a little bit more to brush up on for the final. However I got a PB this weekend so I can’t really ask for any more and I was nearly half a second faster than I have ever gone before.
“The field is getting so much stronger and everyone is getting faster and faster, but the British girls are creeping up now and I have made that big jump from doing 49s to 47 seconds and hopefully with a couple more months of training I will get that down to 46s. The Candian (Laurence Vincent-lapointe) did a 44 which is just great for the sport and I am really excited with the way it is all going.
“Our main focus this season is C2 as our aim is to qualify this boat for the European Games next year, so it is tough doing both but we are getting there. We did a massive PB this weekend taking nearly 7 seconds off our time so that’s all ok.”
The women’s crew boat made up of Emily Lewis, Deborah Kerr, Amy Turner and Hannah Brown also showed good early season form finishing third (1:34.85) behind Australia and Canada in their semi-final to book their spot in the A final. A fast paced race then unfolded in the final where they took a further second off their time to finish seventh.
Pleased to put the disappointment of the K2 500m on Friday behind her, Emily Lewis said: “The K2 on Friday was a bit disappointing. It was our first competitive race of the season, but we quickly got ourselves back together for the K4. Having all the other three girls there is really motivational and it is nice that that we are all supporting each other and it helped to get through it together.”
We were really happy and learnt something new from each racing going from the heats to the semis and then the final. We are excited to see where we can go with it now. We went well in the first 250 which is what we have been training for, so it is now just making sure we work on the back end so we can really get faster. We are going to focus on our starts over the next week and make sure we can get maximum power from each stroke throughout the race.– Emily Lewis
Reflecting on the weekend, Rene Olsen said: “In general there has been some very good performances for the first time out in the new year. We have had some ups and some downs, but there has definitely been some very positive performances and I feel we have moved on since last year.
The big performances for me have come from Stelian Neftanaila and Trevor Thomson in the Men’s K2 200m yesterday and today Jess Walker in the K1 200m, Katie Reid in the C1 200m and the women’s K4. The young athletes especially have really shown they are on the way forwards.– Canoe Sprint Head Coach, Rene Olsen
SUNDAY RESULTS SUMMARY
Men’s K1 200m – Jon Schofield (Soar Valley) – Semi-final 4th, B Final 1st
Men’s K1 200m – Lewis Fletcher (Linlithgow) – Semi-final 5th, C Final 6th
Men’s K1 500m – Matthew Bowley (Burton Phoenix) - C Final 4th
Men’s K4 500m – Liam Heath (Wey) Jon Schofield (Soar Valley), Lewis Fletcher (Linlithgow), Matthew Robinson (Cardiff) – Semi-final 7th, B Final 9th
Men’s K4 500m – Stelian Naftanaila (Nottingham), Trevor Thomson (Ealing), Ieuan James (Forth), Noah Dembele (Leaside) – Semi-final 6th, B Final 7th
Women’s K1 200m – Jess Walker (Royal) – Semi-final 2nd, A Final 6th
Women’s K1 200m – Rachel Cawthorn (Wey) – Semi-final 4th, B Final 8th
Women’s C1 200m – Katie Reid (Holme Pierrepont CC) – Semi-final 2nd, A Final 9th
Women’s C1 200m – Chloe Bracewell (Holme Pierrepont CC) – Semi-final 6th, C Final 4th
Women’s K4 500m – Deborah Kerr (Strathclyde), Hannah Brown (Bradford-on-Avon), Emily Lewis (Worcester), Amy Turner (Banbury) – Semi-final 3rd, A Final 7th
Women’s K1 5000m - Lizzie Broughton (Richmond) – A Final 2nd SILVER