Stott and Baillie kept cool to land gold
August 3, 2012 11:31 am
Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie treated their gold medal run in the canoe slalom like any other race.
Baillie's girlfriend Sarah Boudens, who canoed in the Beijing Olympics for Canada, said the crew dealt with the pressure of the 12,000 capacity crowd cheering them on by thinking of the race as just another competition.
The pairing, who are ranked sixth in the world in the two-man C2 category, were outsiders for a medal. After only just making the final, they were first to race down the whitewater course at Lee Valley.
But the 33-year-olds kept their cool and posted what would prove an unbeatable time after a perfect run, unblemished with costly penalties.
The gold medal win represented a remarkable turnaround for the crew, who very nearly missed out on qualification after Stott dislocated his shoulder in training last year.
Baillie's 29-year-old girlfriend revealed getting the psychology of the race right had been key to their success.
She said: "The strategy was just to have a solid run. I said a time of 106 seconds in the final would be good enough for a medal. We just had to wait and see whether it would be gold.
"Tim and I spoke as if it was another competition. That was the way he dealt with the pressure.
"It was just a case of repeating what he had done in so many other races. They have had amazing support from the team's psychologist Katie Warriner, who has been working with them to help them with the pressure."
Copyright © Press Association Ltd. 2012, All Rights Reserved.