Brabants ready to defend title

05 August 2012 / 14:37

Tim Brabants said he is as ready as he can be to defend his canoe sprint Olympic crown after coming back from serious injury to compete in this year's games.

Brabants, who won gold in Beijing, needed surgery in 2010 after he ripped his right pectoral tendon doing bench presses in the gym.

On Monday, he opens the canoe sprint competition in the men's K1 1000 metres heats at Eton Dorney, where he will be hoping to add to the success of the canoe slalom specialists who won gold and silver in the men's two man boat.

Brabants, from Walton-on Thames in Surrey, said: "It has been an uphill struggle to get here since my shoulder injury in 2010, with 2011 and the early part of this year being pretty much a write off.

"I am now just getting better and better and back to be where I want to be at this stage and I am as ready as I can be.

"I haven't written myself off, I am back on form now and I have got the experience from previous games, so I know I can handle the pressure side of it.

"When I sit on the start line I know I have given it everything I can, but there are a lot of talented athletes in our sport so it is going to be tough and with different winners at all the major races this season it shows the quality of the field."

If Brabants fails to strike gold, Team GB has another great chance in Ed McKeever, dubbed the Usain Bolt of the water.

McKeever, 28, from Bradford-on-Avon, is competing in the new men's K1 200 metre sprint. The trainee accountant is one of the favourites for gold, after winning in the world cup series earlier this year.

Liam Heath and Jon Schofield in the K2 200m also represent a great medal chance for Team GB, while Richard Jefferies, who was selected for the Olympics after making it through the Sporting Giants talent spotting scheme, will compete in the men's C1 1000 metres and C1 200 metres.