Scotland’s David Florence wins canoeing World Cup gold

David Florence wins World Cup gold in Krakow. Picture: Balint Vekassy
David Florence wins World Cup gold in Krakow. Picture: Balint Vekassy
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Great Britain’s David Florence proved that he is still a world force to be reckoned with as he topped the leader board at World Cup 2 in Krakow, Poland, taking gold in the men’s canoe single.

The Scot had looked in confident mood all week, cruising through the heats on Friday and then posting the fastest run time in both the semi-final and final. He finished with an impressive 83.86 seconds, 0.27 seconds ahead of Slovakia’s Alexander Slafkovsky with Michal Jane of the Czech Republic in third.

Delighted to win his first World Cup medal since 2015, 35-year-old Florence said: “I am incredibly pleased to be back on the podium and a bit relieved to be honest. I have felt like I have paddled so well in recent times but just not got the rewards.

“The guys in Britain are so strong now that winning selection in itself was a great achievement, but winning the semi-finals at Europeans and coming away with nothing and then missing the final at the first World Cup last week was pretty disappointing.

“To be right up there and win the semi-final, it would have been tough to come away with nothing. I put in a great run and to actually win the race makes me very, very happy.”

Asked about the pressure of going off last he added: “I didn’t know how the race was going and I don’t really find it makes a lot of odds. Sometimes if the final is not going well for the other guys it can seem like it should be easy to do it, but you still have to put in a good run. And sometimes if it is really tight you try to chase it too much. It doesn’t really matter how the other guys are going it is all about yourself and focusing from gate to gate and doing a good run, which is what I managed to do today.”

Scotland’s Fiona Pennie was Great Britain’s sole representative in the women’s single kayak (K1) final. Pennie picked up a touch early on at gate two and couldn’t find the added pace to keep the later paddlers at bay. The race was won by Australia’s Jessica Fox.