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Brits progress at Canoe Sprint World Cup 1 season opener

Britain’s canoe sprint athletes progressed through to next stages of competition as the international season got underway at the ICF World Cup in Racice.

20220520 00528 Racice

A number of B Finals and semi-finals will be contested on day two of the competition, as PB’s were also achieved on the Czech Republic course during the opening day of racing.

Chelmsford’s Dan Johnson will contest the men’s K1 1000m B Final after a strong first day of racing on the Racice waters.

Dan made an excellent start to his World Cup in the heats, storming through heat 2 and posting the quickest time of the event and a significant personal best in 3:27.41, easing his way into the afternoon’s semi-final.

His semi-final was a tightly contested one, but a time of 3:33.52 saw Dan just miss out on the A Final in fourth spot, meaning he will race the B Final on Saturday morning.

Having a wealth of marathon racing experience too, the 27-year-old will also line up in the men’s K1 5000m on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking after his semi-final race, Dan said:

I’m delighted with those two races today. To get the fastest time of the heats was a dream which took me through to the semi-finals. My semi-final was close but not quite enough to make that A Final after coming fourth.

– Dan Johnson

“I was eighth in terms of time again so I'm pleased with that too. I have an opportunity to win the B Final tomorrow and give it a good go ahead of further racing at World Cup 2 and the June regatta.

“It’s my tenth year racing internationally and going into this event I thought let’s go for it and break into that top ten of athletes. 

“I’m really looking forward to the K1 5000m. It’s a massive field of 35+ athletes. With myself and Lusty racing, I really hope we can both get into that leading pack of athletes and see what we can do.”

Tokyo 2020 Olympian Katie Reid progressed through to Saturday’s semi-final in the women’s C1 200m after coming sixth in her heat with a time of 48.65. The Forth paddler will have two events to focus on tomorrow as she also takes on the C1 500m heats.

Speaking ahead of a busy day of racing tomorrow, Katie said:

“It feels like a long time since we last raced internationally. It was good, everyone was pleased to be racing again so to come back together and feel like a normal regatta again with everyone representing is awesome.

I always really look forward to the 500m. I’ve done a lot of base training this winter so I think my fitness is pretty good. Hopefully it will go well, I really enjoy it. It hurts a lot but we will see how it goes tomorrow.

– Katie Reid

Izzy Evans (Lincoln) will join Katie in the semi-finals of the C1 200m after a strong performance to finish seventh in her heat. The time of 50.18 was enough to see the 24-year-old progress to tomorrow morning.

Rebii Simon (Elmbridge) progressed through to the B Final of the women’s K1 500m after finishing fifth in her semi-final, posting a time of 1:52.92. After taking two seconds off her heats performance earlier that day, the Rio 2016 Olympian will be back in action on Saturday morning. 

British teammate Lucy-Lee Smith was also in heats action of the same event, but didn’t progress through to the semi-finals after finishing seventh in 1:57.57.

Lucy will be back in action in the women’s K1 200m semi-finals tomorrow however, after coming sixth in her heat. The Norwich paddler claimed a 44.88 in her heats which eased her through to the next round.

Men’s K4 crew Tom Lusty (Solihull), Lewis Fletcher (Linlithgow Kayak Racing), Trevor Thomson (Ealing) and Noah Dembele (Olympic Racing Squad) kick-started the day’s proceedings for the British team, as they got their first taste of international experience as a crew.

After progressing through the heats in 1:25.48, the crew had a significant delay ahead of their semi-final race due to a technical fault. Once action was back underway, they were unable to progress to the final despite taking over two seconds off their time in 1:23.03.

Making her senior international debut, Sammy Sullivan (Wiltshire Youth Canoe Club) combined with Reading paddler Anna Palmer in the women’s C2 500m heats. It was valuable racing experience as a crew as they finished eighth in their heat in 2:24.33.

Anna will return twice more this weekend as she prepares for the C1W 1000m and 5000m.

Anoushka Freeman rounded things off for the British team on day one of the competition as she secured a place in the semi-finals of the women’s K1 1000m. It was a strong start from the Richmond paddler who claimed fourth spot in 4:05.51 to claim a spot for tomorrow's competition.

To recap all the results from today’s racing and see the upcoming schedule, click here

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