Stott teams up with Proctor in Olympic title defence bid

17 July 2014 / 10:22

Olympic champion Etienne Stott is back on track to defend his C2 title at the Rio Olympics after announcing his new partner will be Mark Proctor.

After winning London 2012 alongside Tim Baillie, Stott missed most of the next year after suffering a serious shoulder dislocation.

And while he was in the midst of recovery he was dealt another blow as Baillie announced his retirement from the sport.

However after getting himself back close to full fitness Stott can now plan his attack for Brazil after announcing that Proctor will be his new partner.

Proctor is a long-term GB senior team C1 competitor and has a background in C2, finishing the 2010 Under-23 European Championships fourth alongside Tom Brady.

And Stott admits he couldn’t have asked for a better partner than Proctor in his bid to retain his Olympic title in Rio.

“My partner needed to be a right-handed paddler because I'm a left-hander,” said Stott.

“Mark’s dedication and his quality as an athlete is obvious and well known. He was top of my list in terms of a person who I would be able to form a good partnership with.

“We have also been friends for a long time, we've shared rooms together on World Cups and training camps and we have a similar sense of humour, so we get along well both in and out of the boat.

“The Rio Games is our clear and obvious goal. But having declared that as our aim the important thing for us now is to set that aside, focus completely on ourselves and the process of extracting every bit of goodness that we can from everything we do in the next 18 months to two years.

“We have got such a short time and such an amazing quality of athletes to battle against, so it's going to be a major challenge and everything is stacked against us.

“But our ability and racing results will come about through a serious focus on process and developing ourselves as a team.

“And if we focus exclusively on the journey aspect then the other things will take care of themselves.”

Proctor, who is likely to keep racing C1 going alongside C2, added: “For me it's come at the right time in my career, and it's given me the best pick-me-up I could have ever wanted after missing selections this year.

“I’ve got my drive back and it’s helped me wake up in the morning and spend every minute of the day think about training.

“Now I’m the guy getting in the boat with the Olympic Champion, which is really exciting.  We've not got much time for Rio so it's full steam ahead.  There's no time to rest.”

© Sportsbeat 2014