London 2012

British duo progress

Florence recovers after poor first run

Last Updated: 29/07/12 8:44pm

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Florence: Progresses to the semi-finals

Florence: Progresses to the semi-finals

Team GB's men safely made it to the semi-finals of the canoe slalom on Sunday after a nervous start at Lee Valley White Water Centre in Broxbourne.

With only the top 12 qualifying for the semi-finals, Beijing silver medallist David Florence was left languishing in 13th after the first run of the C1.

The world number one from Aberdeen said he was relieved to have qualified after he pulled out a much faster performance in his second run to secure his place in Tuesday's semi-final.

Richard Hounslow also faced crashing out in the kayak heats when he got off to a slow start but, under pressure, he again delivered and finished 11th overall.

Speaking afterwards, the 30-year-old from Loughton, Essex, said he always knew he could qualify.

Confident

He said: "You have to believe in your own ability and in the work that you have done over the years, that you can do the job on the second run.

"I felt that I could do the time that I needed to do. The crowd were fantastic. It has been amazing.

"There was a huge roar from the crowd when my name was announced on the start line. I never expected anything like this but it is a great showcase for the sport."

On Wednesday, Hounslow will have to step up another level if he wants to qualify for the final. He was 5.63 seconds off the pace set by Germany's Hannes Aigner, who won the kayak heats, and only the top 10 qualify for the final.

For 29-year-old Florence, his main aim was just to qualify for the semi-final, but he will also have to improve against Slovakia's Michal Martikan, who won the heats in a time of 90.56 seconds in his second run after missing a gate in the first go.

Relief

Florence said: "I don't think anyone can be certain of qualifying. It was a big pressure situation on my second run.

"The first run didn't quite go according to plan but there wasn't that much wrong with it but the time added up to being a long way off the pace required to go through, so I am just relieved to have done that."

On Monday both men come together in the two-man canoe. Their sternest opposition comes from Slovakian twins Peter and Pavol Hochschorner.

Known for their telepathic team work, the brothers won gold in Sydney, Athens and Beijing and are overwhelming favourites.

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