Olympic24: Bromley announces retirement, Florence set for Worlds

Four-time Olympic skeleton racer Kristan Bromley announces he is to hang up his sled while David Florence previews the canoe slalom World Championships which get underway today. Here’s our review of the last 24 hours.

Former skeleton world champion Kristan Bromley will head into retirement with plenty of memories from his time on the ice although writing his name into the record books in 2008 will be the moment that burns brightest.

During two decades in the sport, Bromley appeared at four different Winter Olympics and in 2008 achieved the triple crown – becoming the first slider to win the World Championships, European Championships and overall World Cup title in the same season.

"I'm very proud of representing my country at more than 100 World Cup and championship events and four Olympic Games," said Bromley upon announcing his retirement.

"Winning the treble didn't sink in at the time but that was the season I was the most proud of.”

Rose McGrandle, winner of the Intercontinental Cup title in 2012, is also retiring while Olympic silver medallist Shelley Rudman is extending her maternity leave.

Even now the incredible finale when David Florence and his partner Richard Hounslow narrowly missed out on canoe slalom victory at London 2012 gives him goosebumps but the Scot insists securing the Olympic gold that has so far eluded him is not the sole motivation driving him forward.

Florence was the first Brit to win the C1 and C2 World titles in the same year in 2013 while he has a silver medal from both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

And with the World Championships returning to the UK for the first time in 20 years when action kicks off today at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, Florence can’t wait to get going once again on the big stage.

“It is a really big World Championships and for me the Rio Olympics in 2016 is a huge driving factor in why I have been competing in the last few years,” said Florence, who now trains at the London 2012 venue which will host this week’s Championships.

“Having been to two Olympics and knowing how exciting it is and what an amazing experience it is – not to mentioning knowing what it is like on the podium – is a huge drive to get to Rio but I don’t really feel that I’m trying to get there to right something that happened in the past.”

If there were still any lingering doubts in Anna Watkins’ mind about returning to rowing in a bid to make Rio, the performance of one woman thousands of miles away in Beijing made sure to send them packing.

Last month, Jessica Ennis-Hill grabbed the British public’s attention once again as she completed a fairytale comeback by winning the world heptathlon title, 13 months after giving birth to her son Reggie.

Olympic double sculls champion Watkins also took time away from sport to give birth after London 2012 – in her case twice – but last month announced her intention to come back and try and bid for Rio.

And with Ennis delivering the goods in China, Watkins admitted it was a timely boost for her own ambitions.

“I decided to do it before Jess’ success, but the way that she did it has given me extra confidence because, at that point it was only four months after I had my child, and it all seemed a bit far-fetched!” said Watkins.

“So to have her demonstrate in no uncertain terms that in a year’s time things can be really different; it’s very good for my confidence.” Read more here.

Leon Smith moved to play down an injury suffered by Kyle Edmund as Great Britain continued their preparations for this weekend’s Davis Cup semi-final against Australia.

Edmund, who is vying for a spot in the team with James Ward as the second singles player, hurt his ankle during practice.

The semi-final meeting begins on Friday with two singles matches, following by a doubles match on Saturday and the reverse singles on Sunday.

But when asked about the situation, captain Smith replied “It’s all fine.”

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