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GB complete best-ever Canoe Marathon European Championships

Great Britain were left to reflect on their best-ever performance at the 2022 ECA Canoe Marathon European Championships after a medal-laden four days in Silkeborg.

The British squad leave Denmark with seven medals, eclipsing the previous best haul of five achieved in 2017.

The charge was headed by two silvers for Beth Gill (Chelmsford), and a silver and bronze for Sam Rees-Clark (Nottingham).

Greta Roeser (Wey) also claimed a medal double, with both an individual bronze and K2 junior bronze with Nerys Hall (Wey), while Charlie Smith (Nottingham) earned a silver for the men.

Day 1 report
Day 2 report
Day 3 report

Dom Stanley (Falcon) and Harry Freeland (Reading) came so close to adding an eighth medal to the team haul on the final day of competition.

Having made their major international bow as individuals in the K1 Juniors on Saturday, Dom and Harry teamed up for the K2 Juniors just 24 hours later.

They were joined in the six-lap race by Nottingham pair Joe Enoch and Huw Singleton.

Dom and Harry, who have been paddling together since the age of 10, got themselves in the early lead group and remained there as it thinned to a six-strong bunch at the midway point.

The British duo were firmly in the medal hunt with crews from Spain, Hungary and Denmark as the top four pulled out an unbridgeable gap on the penultimate long lap.

They fell a couple of boat lengths back on the final long lap, but fought all the way to the line in a gutsy performance, crossing the line fourth, 10 seconds adrift of bronze medallists Bertram Sorensen and Nikolaj Bryde (Denmark).

Joe and Huw crossed the line in 12th after their chances were disrupted by cramp at the later portages.

In the race for gold, Jesus Machado and Estebanez (Spain) accelerated past Hungarian pair Andras Terei and Aron Marialigeti in the run to the line to take the top step on the podium. 

Fresh from a superb silver in the K1 Under 23s Men on Friday, Charlie Smith lined up in the eight-lap K2 men with James Russell (Chelmsford) who finished sixth in the K1 men short race on Thursday.

In a frenetic opening few laps, Charlie and James formed part of a seven-strong lead group and did well to twice claw back gaps to the lead group after losing ground at mid-race portages.

But the energy expended took its toll as the two Spanish crews, and pairs from Denmark, France and Hungary kicked on and went clear.

They were left to paddle a lonely last three laps as they crossed the line in a fine sixth place, 

 behind race winners Alberto Plaza and Miguel Llorens (Spain)

Team leaders Fay Lamph and Scott Hynds were thrilled with the results throughout the squad and hope they can act as a springboard for the world championships, in Ponte de Lima, in Portugal, in late September.

Fay said: "We have had a really successful trip. Everyone has performed to the best of their abilities and I think we worked really well as a team.

"We have got some very young juniors and for almost all of them it was their first-ever championships so they have relied on the seniors' experience to help them out with what to expect. It has been a really nice team atmosphere.

"We have some really good talent at the moment which is nice to see."

Scott added: "It's a culmination of a lot of clubs working really hard to produce athletes.

"It wouldn't be fair just to single out medallists because there were excellent performances from others. 

"We had good results all round and a lot of confidence-building performances which they can take to the world championships.

"Next we have the national championships on August 24 and 25 which will be the last assessment race for selection for the world championships in September."

A full competition schedule and live results can be found here.


K1 Men Juniors    

Dominic Stanley (Falcon) / Harry Freeland (Reading) – 4th

Joe Enoch (Nottingham) / Huw Singleton (Nottingham) – 12th

K2 Men

James Russell (Chelmsford) / Charlie Smith (Nottingham) - 6th