Etienne Stott admits his and Tim Baillie’s first international competition since becoming Olympic champions will be far from straight forward as rain delays the European Championships in Krakow.
Stott and Baillie became the first Brits ever to win Olympic canoe slalom gold with victory ahead of teammates David Florence and Richard Hounslow in the C2 at London 2012 last summer.
They haven’t competed against their international rivals since and took until the turn of the year to start training again, however they are very much part of a 14-strong British team at the Europeans.
Heavy rain in the host city of Krakow has caused floods however river levels are dropping with the plan to race on Saturday and Sunday with a backup plan to hold proceedings just on the latter.
The British team reached the venue before it was closed due to the floods and Stott, a four-time medallist at the European Championships, admits racing will be challenging to say the least.
“The river is extremely tricky in character, with very swirly currents, surgey eddies and you have to watch it like a hawk,” said Stott.
“The training we have done has been of good quality. We’ve been figuring out the rhythm and style of the river and becoming physically sharper.
“Our preparations have been going well. Normally we start training in October for the next season, but we took time out to push the legacy work after the Games, so this time around we only started training in the New Year.
“After an extra five months off it is obviously taken a bit longer to get back to where we would want, but I am satisfied that we have made the very most of our training up to this point and our early season domestic races were satisfactory for that point in preparations.”
© Sportsbeat 2013