Six canoe sprinters are on their way to Rio 2016

It's just 52 days to go until Rio 2016 finally gets underway and today Team GB can unveil the six canoe sprint athletes who will be on their way to Brazil this summer.

London 2012 Olympic bronze medallists Liam Heath and Jon Schofield make their return to Team GB in the men’s K2 200m, with Heath doubling up in the K1 200m, while Rachel Cawthorn will go in the women’s K1 500m.

Cawthorn will also race as part of the women’s K4 500m team alongside, Louisa Gurski, Rebeka Simon and Jess Walker, who has been selected for her third Olympic Games and will also race in the K1 200m.

Five of the team have represented Team GB at Olympic level in the past with Heath, Schofield, Gurski and Cawthorn also taking part at the inaugural European Games in Baku last year.

The athletes selected today are:

Liam Heath (K1 200m & K2 200m), 31 from Guildford, Surrey Jon Schofield (K2 200m), 31 from Clitheroe, Lancashire Jess Walker (K1 200m & K4 500m), 25 from Hampton Hill, London Louisa Gurski (K4 500m), 28 from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey Rachel Cawthorn (K1 500m & K4 500m), 27 from Guildford, Surrey Rebeka Simon (K4 500m), 19 from Walton-on-Thames, Surrey Team GB won two canoe sprint medals at London 2012 with Ed McKeever’s K1 200m gold adding to Heath and Schofield’s K2 200m bronze. That took Team GB’s canoe sprint Olympic haul to six (two gold and four bronze).

Canoeing first featured on the Olympic programme at Berlin 1936 following its appearance as a demonstration sport at Paris 1924 and has been present at every Games since.

Today’s announcement takes the number of selected Team GB athletes for Rio 2016 to 128 from 11 sports.