Florence and Hounslow in the hunt

28 July 2012 / 19:32

The opening races of the canoe slalom begin on Sunday, with two British men hopeful of glory.

World number one David Florence leads the charge in the C1 heats. The 29-year-old, from Aberdeen, is last down the purpose-built white water course at Lee Valley and one of the favourites.

Following his two gold medals in the category in the world cup meetings in Cardiff earlier this year, Florence is looking to add to his silver medal in Beijing four years ago.

His main rivals are Frenchman Tony Estanguet and Slovakian Michal Martikan, who won gold in Beijing, but Florence will hope he can carry over his form from earlier in the season.

He is last up in both his heat runs, and will be out on the course at 2.18pm and 4.35pm on Sunday.

Only his best run will count towards ensuring he qualifies for the finals, but Florence is eager to start his assault on Olympic glory.

He said: "I'm just looking forward to getting the racing under way and enjoying myself, it's going to be something that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life."

Richard Hounslow, from Loughton, Essex, Florence's partner in the two-man canoe, will also be hoping to make it safely through the heats.

After pipping Athens silver medallist Campbell Walsh to a place in the British team by the narrowest of margins, Hounslow will want to prove his point and make it through to his category's final on Wednesday. He will be out on the course at 3.04pm and 5.21pm on Sunday.

"This is without a doubt the highlight of my career so far," he said. "I'm very lucky that this is my first Olympic Games and also a home Games as well. Even if it turns out to be my only Olympics I'm just so proud that I'll be able to compete in front of a home crowd, with my friends and family watching."