London 2012

Big battle for Wycherley

Olympic gold medallist a big obstacle for British paddler

Last Updated: 02/09/11 7:36pm

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Wycherley: BIg challenge ahead

Wycherley: BIg challenge ahead

British canoeist Paul Wycherley admits it will be tough to fend off reigning Olympic champion Tim Brabants for the sole K-1 1000m spot at London 2012.

The 25-year-old ousted Brabants from the Great Britain team in a race-off to compete in last month's World Championships .

Brabants was forced into the race after a run of poor form and illness, allowing Wycherley to represent Britain in Hungary where he was pushed into the B final, finishing fifth.

Despite recently overcoming the 2008 Beijing gold medallist, the Guildford athlete admits his spot at London 2012 is far from assured.

"I am not superstitious but it was almost like an omen when they announced [the Olympics] was going to be in London," he said.


"I will be 26, nearing the height of my career hopefully in terms of physical development and it will be a home Olympics.

"Not many people get that opportunity so I am certainly going to fight for every point and give it my damn best. It is a tough task, it is a really tough task.

"I have got to go head-to-head with Tim Brabants, who is still the best 1000m paddler that I know and it is going to be a tall order. But I am certainly going to go out there and give it my absolute best.

"It is my dream to get to the Olympics and hopefully get to go there and win it. But we don't always get to live our dreams and if I don't get it I will still carry on living I am sure."

Wycherley was speaking at the Canoe Sprint Invitational International Regatta, a test event for London 2012

Test event

The Surrey-born canoeist finished the test event fourth in the B final at Eton Dorney, which he believes is a great course.

"Dorney Lake is where I train actually most days," he said. "It is renowned for being a bit windy but that is okay.

"We've got lovely weather and there is a little wind but it is fair for everybody as it is blowing right down the course. I am chuffed to bits with the course and the infrastructure setup."

"I have just been holding on since the world championships, to be honest. I built myself up for that and was in the form of my life for the World Championships.

"There was a lot of physical and even emotional exhaustion there so I can now put my hands up that I actually went down to Newquay for the past two weeks and went surfing with my mates.

"I was not best prepped for this competition but it is really great to come and scope it out, how it is going to be for the Games next year and get a feel for it all."

Anders Gustafsson of Sweden won the K1 1000m B race, while Germany's Max Hoff won the A final ahead of Adam van Koeverden.

Fellow Canadian Mark Oldershaw won the C1 1000m finale shortly after, before Swedish duo Marcus Oscarsson and Henrik Nilsson triumphed in the K2 1000m class.

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