Two-time Olympic silver medallist David Florence is hoping Prague once again proves a happy hunting ground as the international canoe slalom season culminates this week with the World Championships.
Florence won C1 team bronze the last time the World Championships were held in the Czech Republic capital in 2006 and is due to compete in both individually and with C2 partner Richard Hounslow.
As a pair, Florence and Hounslow won Olympic silver behind Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott at London 2012 last summer however their British rivals aren’t in Prague as the latter recovers from a shoulder injury.
This season has seen Florence, who won Olympic C1 silver at Beijing 2008, finish second with Hounslow at the Cardiff World Cup and then runner-up again but this time individually at the series finals in Bratislava last month.
And, with happy memories of the course in Prague, Florence, part of 15-strong British team full of youth and experience, will be going all out to continue his good run in the Czech Republic.
“Aside from the Olympic Games the World Championships is the next biggest event so it’s a big deal,” said Florence. “It’s a good, fun course to paddle, with lots of features on it.
“Racing is often tight and it can be pretty small margins separating a lot of places. The crowds are always good here. I really enjoy racing in Prague and I’ve had quite a lot of medals here in the past.
“There are so many good paddlers out there, all training hard over the winter to try and make gains, so the competition gets a bit harder every year.
“You’ve just got to be faster every year to even stay with things, let alone make ground on everyone else. This season the medals have been shared between more people than they sometimes have in the past.
“But it is canoe slalom and that is often the way, even when you have somebody that is very dominant, it’s very rare that they show up and win every race.”
© Sportsbeat 2013