McKeever focused on Olympics

02 May 2012 / 16:31

One of Britain's brightest Olympic prospects has told how he has left his fiancee in charge of planning their wedding so he can concentrate on winning a gold medal.

Dubbed the "Usain Bolt" of the water, sprint canoeist Ed McKeever has already been selected to represent Team GB in the 200 metre category at this year's games.

Having already recorded one of the fastest-ever times over the distance (34.2 seconds), the 28-year-old from Bradford-upon-Avon near Bath, won gold at the World Championships in 2010 and topped the podium twice at the 2011 World Cup series.

McKeever initially competed in the K1 500m class, but the competition was ditched in 2009 as an Olympic discipline in favour of the 200m sprint race. The change has helped McKeever, who is better suited to the shorter sprint distance.

Over the last three years he has managed to fine-tune his training by "trial and error" to become one of the best in the world. But it has meant he has had to rely on support to manage other areas of his life, namely his marriage to fiancee Anya Kuczha, a 26-year-old PE teacher who he met while studying accountancy and finance at Kingston University.

The couple plan to tie the knot on September 22 at a church in Beaconsfield. McKeever admits it will be a large gathering, although he insists that is because Anya is from a big Polish family.

"I am not doing too much juggling," said McKeever. "I am not doing any accountancy work until after the Olympics so that is not an issue at all. With the wedding stuff, I will get asked my opinion on things but whether that gets taken in to account is another thing. Anya has quite a big family so I don't think it will be small but we haven't planned numbers yet."

McKeever's plans of a quiet family wedding if, as expected, he has snatched gold six weeks earlier at Dorney Lake, may be short-lived. He would potentially be Team GB's last gold medallist of the Games but he dismisses any suggestion his success is assured.

Asked about the comparison with Usain Bolt, he just doesn't see it and said: "He's tall, I'm short."

While any attention post-Games is unlikely to go to his head, even if he does win gold. He added: "I have a clear plan regardless of what happens."