Florence claims ‘impossible’ canoe slalom world double

15 September 2013 / 14:51

David Florence admitted to achieving the impossible as he become the first canoe slalom paddler to win both the C1 and C2 events at a World Championships in Prague.

Florence was on cloud nine on Saturday after becoming the first ever Brit to win a C1 world title and the first to win any form of individual global canoe slalom gold since 1995.

And it got even better for the 31-year-old two-time Olympic silver medallist 24 hours later as he won the C2 World Championship title with Richard Hounslow.

Second behind fellow Brits Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott in the C2 at the London 2012 Olympics last summer, Florence and Hounslow produced a winning time of 114.10seconds in Prague.

That gave them a narrow victory over Czech Republic home hopes Jaroslav Volf and Ondrej Stepanek, who clocked 114.14, with Ladislav and Peter Skantar taking bronze in 115.63.

And Florence was left in disbelief at his World Championship double, adamant he thought victory in both the C1 and C2 would never be achieved by anyone let alone by himself.

“To come to the World Championships and win both races is just amazing, something I thought would never be done by anyone,” said Florence.

“I was pretty happy with the C1 but for it all to go so well two days in a row and get on top of the podium again is unbelievable.

“It's just gone so well the last couple of days and obviously a massive thanks to Rich as well. I’m very pleased for him to have joined me only 24 hours later as the world champion.”

Two penalties cost Volf and Stepanek gold as the British pair went clear with Hounslow elated that his and Florence’s safe and steady approach paid off.

“It was a very, very tricky course but we had a solid plan,” said Hounslow. “It wasn’t the fastest way of executing the course but it was what we felt was a safe, good risk to reward plan and it paid off for us in the end. 

“It was amazing watching David win individually and to be able to call myself a world champion is fantastic. I’m really proud of what we have both achieved.”

© Sportsbeat 2013