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Olympic canoe sprint team ready for the Tokyo 2020 Games

With the second week of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games fast approaching, Great Britain's Olympic canoe sprint team are all set for taking to the water at the Sea Forest Waterway.

Sprint Team Image High Res

The four athletes will be competing in Tokyo next week from Monday 2 to Thursday 5 August. Before entering the Athlete Village this week, the team spent the last couple of weeks in Japan preparing at the Lake Kiba Canoe Sprint Course, based in Komatsu City.

A record number 51 countries will compete in canoe sprint in Tokyo, just one more than the previous best when 30 countries took on Beijing back in 2008, as the discipline appears in its 20th Olympics, having featured in every Games since 1936.

Olympic Champion Liam Heath MBE heads up the quartet of canoe sprint athletes taking on the Tokyo waters, as he competes in his third Olympic Games being one of four individual medallists from Rio to defend their title.

Winning K2 200m bronze alongside Jon Schofield in London, and then silver in Rio in the same event before being crowned Olympic champion in the K1 200m, Liam goes in search of his fourth Olympic medal as he races the K1 200m once again. 

Selected in 2019, the Wey Kayak Club athlete qualified his spot in style, winning gold at the 2019 World Championships in Szeged, Hungary.

He also won the grand slam of canoeing titles in 2017, holding the K1 200m Olympic, World and European gold medals at the same time.

Liam lines up on Forest Sea Waterway for the first time on Wednesday 4 August for the heats, as he looks to continue the form he has shown consistently since Rio.

Liam Heath Olympic Kit 3 Brighter

Liam will be joined on the water by three athletes making their Olympic debuts.

Deborah Kerr will race both the K1 200m and K1 500m after a stunning start to the 2021 season. The Strathclyde athlete won both events at the April selection regatta before securing the K1 200m boat quota place for Britain at the European Olympic Qualifier in Szeged. 

The 23-year-old then went on to secure her first international senior medal with bronze in the K1W 200m at the World Cup also in Hungary.

Having been part of the Olympic Ambitions programme in Rio, Deborah will race the K1 200m heats on Monday 2 August, before racing the K1 500m two days later.

Deb Kerr Olympic Kit

Emily Lewis will join her British teammate in both the K1 200m and K1 500m heats she lines up in her first ever Olympic heats. The Worcester Canoe Club athlete goes into the Games off the back of a best ever finish at the European Championships in June.

A K1 200m junior European medallist, Emily was also part of the Olympic Ambitions programme back in 2016 and will also be in action on Monday for the first time from 1:30 BST as the K1 200m heats get underway.

Emily Lewis2 1

Katie Reid (Forth CC) completes the canoe sprint line-up racing in Tokyo this week. The 26-year-old will blaze a trail for the sport as she prepares to race the women’s 200m event, which is featuring in first Olympic Games following its introduction to the Tokyo programme.

Katie, who first joined canoeing through the Girls4Gold programme back in 2014, has too made a strong start to the 2021 season, coming third in the European Olympic Qualifier and also has a bronze medal to her name after making the podium at the second World Cup of 2018 in Duisburg.

The Scottish athlete will line up for the first time on Wednesday for the heats, kicking off at 1:58 BST.

Katie Reid C1 200M Bronze Duisburg

Full details of when you can see the team in action can be found on the Paddle to Tokyo website.

Canoe Sprint Olympic schedule and results

The Canoe Sprint Olympic schedule and results service will be available on the Tokyo 2020 website.

How can you follow?

Follow all the action on our live blog and social media channels for live commentary of the events, as well as round ups and quotes from each day.

Live coverage of the Games will be available on the Discovery+ platforms, BBC, Eurosport and with specific channel information provided nearer the event.

New to paddling?

If you have been inspired by watching canoe canoe sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, check out our Go Paddling website to find out everything you need to know to start your own paddling adventure.