Winning World Championship gold was a special moment for Liam Heath – not only was he delighted to reclaim his world title, but he was relieved to secure a place at Tokyo 2020 for Team GB.
The Olympic kayak champion powered to a 34.86 second finish in Hungary to reclaim the world title he won in 2017, edging out Strahinja Stefanovic of Serbia and Carlos Garrote of Spain in second and third.
He may be Great Britain’s most successful Olympic canoeist, but Heath, who took a year away from the sport after becoming a father, never imagined he would secure a repeat of his World Championship success.
“I’ve put in so much work this year and there’s no better feeling than having that justified,” said the 35-year-old.
“You have doubts and wonder if you’re past it, so this is really special.
“I hadn’t been massively thinking about next year because I think it would have been a distraction from the World Championships, but now I’ve achieved what I set out to do, I can think about it a little bit more.
“It was incredibly special to have my wife and family here to watch me win – hearing them shouting ‘Go Daddy!’ gave me so much motivation.
“My job may be done, but I will be staying here to support the team as best I can.”