Eight of Team GB’s Olympic canoe sprint team will venture to Szeged in Hungary this week to take part in the first World Cup event of the year.
Leading the line-up is Olympic champion Ed McKeever in the K1 200m category. Having pledged to aim for another gold medal in Rio come 2016, the first step on the journey is to establish himself in a country that prides itself on canoe success. The International Canoe Federation (ICF) highlight Hungary’s Piotr Siemionowski as McKeever’s biggest threat this weekend; the 2011 world champion was injured for much of 2012 and a return to the water he has won on before will make him a different prospect.
Joining McKeever as British medallists are Liam Heath and Jon Schofield. Bronze winners in the K2 200m, they should prove to be a handful a year later. Rachel Cawthorn will also be looking to put her sixth place behind her as she enters a popular 1000m K1.
With former champion Tim Brabants no longer around, the stage is set for several other of Great Britain’s Olympians to step up and claim their own successes. K1 200m canoer Jess Walker also had a decent Olympics and could be one to watch. Along with her, Richard Jeffries, Angela Hannah and Louisa Sawers will all be looking to improve on their Eton Dorney performances.
The final two days of action will be broadcast live on British Eurosport and ICF TV.
Preliminary entry list [PDF]: