Olympic champion McKeever makes winning return to water

Olympic champion Ed McKeever admits it was good to be back on the water as the canoeist made a winning return at the first of two British selection events.

McKeever was in action for the first time since he stormed to the K-1 200m title at London 2012.

And it was a happy return as the 29-year-old won the K-1 200m final in a time of 37.41 seconds, with Liam Heath just behind in second place at 37.55.

“It's my first race since London and it’s nice to go out there and blow off the cobwebs, so to speak,” said McKeever.

“It's been a tough winter, quite miserable over the last few weeks but ultimately that's why we train, for racing.

“It wasn’t the best conditions and obviously there were slow times because of the headwind but ultimately you have to race in all conditions and it’s the same for everyone.

“I was pre-selected for the World Cups based on my performances last year, but obviously it's nice to come up here and race and show my face and sport.”

Next on McKeever’s calendar are the World Cups, and he said: “The first in Szeged and the following weekend in the Czech Republic, that's when I get a real benchmark of where I am internationally.”

Another London Olympian was also celebrating victory in Nottingham as Rachel Cawthorn won the women’s K-1 200m final.

Cawthorn, who finished sixth in the same event at London 2012, won in 43.52, ahead of Jess Walker in 44.8 and Angela Hannah at 44.99.

“It's good to win and I was looking forward to racing again,” said Cawthorn.

“This is what we train for and it has been a long winter since the Games so it's really good to finally get started.”

© Sportsbeat 2013