Cawthorn powers to bronze in European canoe sprint champs

Rio Olympian Rachel Cawthorn won Great Britain’s first medal of the European canoe sprint championships with bronze in the K1 1000m, much to her delight.

The 28-year-old has focussed on shorter distance races in recent years, and last year competed in the K1 500m in Rio, where she finished 15th.

She also raced the K4 500m final at the Olympic Games, where she was part of the team that finished seventh, but has since switched to the greater, non-Olympic, distance - and the change appears to have worked.

Finishing third in Bulgaria, in what was just her second race over the distance in four years, left her understandably happy.

“I came out to this competition refocusing on the 1000,” said the 2010 K1 500m world bronze medallist.

“The first 1000 I raced in the last four years was at the selection regatta a couple of weeks ago so this was a bit like going into the unknown but I’m really pleased.”

Elsewhere on day two in Plovdiv, Jonathan Boston finished eighth in the K1 1000m, while Olympic champion Liam Heath won his heat of the K1 200m to qualify for Sunday’s final.

Hannah Brown and Angela Hannah also progressed to a final on Sunday after finishing fourth in their K2 200m heat and second in their semi-final.

But there was disappointment for Chloe Bracewell, who finished eighth in her C1 200m semi-final, and for Jess Waker who ended the K1 200m semi-finals in fourth.

Sportsbeat 2017