Canoeist Liam Heath sprints to gold for Britain

Britain's Liam Heath powers to gold medal in the Men's Kayak Single 200m Finals in Rio.  Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Britain's Liam Heath powers to gold medal in the Men's Kayak Single 200m Finals in Rio. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
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Sprint canoeist Liam Heath powered his way to Olympic gold in the K1 200 metres in Rio.

The 32-year-old made it third time lucky after winning silver alongside Jon Schofield in the K2 200m, to go with his bronze in the same class from London 2012, as he swept past France’s Maxime Beaumont in the closing stages to take victory at the picturesque Lagoa.

He crossed the line in 35.197 seconds, with the Frenchman 0.165secs behind.

Victory for Heath, a former bar worker at restaurant chain TGI Friday’s, marked the most successful Olympics ever for Britain’s canoeists.

Heath said: “I’ve got the set now, bronze in London, silver and gold here, it’s incredible.

“I had an inkling (I had won when I crossed the line), but you’re so focused on your lane and those white blocks at the finish point that you blank everything out.

“When they’ve looked at the photo finish and put your name up on the board, that’s when you know and it starts to sink in.”

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