David Florence brought the curtain down on his Olympic preparations in style by securing a silver medal at the World Cup Three event in La Seu D’Urgell, Spain.
The Loughton canoe slalom star has now secured three medals in his last six outings in preparation for London 2012, with this one coming in the individual C1 event.
Florence qualified for the final in eighth place and was eager to up his game after a disappointing outing in Pau, France, last week.
He took an early lead with seven competitors to go and was then forced to watch on as the last paddlers looked to better his time.
And it was a silver medal for Florence as the last one to take to the water – double Olympic champion Tony Estanguet - was unable to better the time.
Speaking after his success, Florence was thrilled to have got himself back on to the podium.
He explained: “I feel pretty awesome and it’s a great finish to three weeks on the road. Pau was a disappointment last weekend, and I couldn’t wait to get racing in Seu to put things right.
“I put in solid runs and built through the competition, so when I saw my final run time I knew it was good based on the semi-finals. It was then just a waiting game for the next seven boats to come
Head Coach Jurg Gotz added: “It’s been a solid start to the season for David Florence with a gold and now silver in the C1. He had a really good run, lost a little bit of time, but his confidence
is high and he’s paddling well.”
Fellow Loughtonian Richard Hounslow did not enjoy such a successful day in solo action as he finished a disappointing 39th in the K1 class.
The Harrow-born competitor was caught by an unfortunate surge of water at gate one, meaning only half his head went through the gate and resulting in a 50-second penalty, effectively ending his
race before it got started in the semi final.
Going together in the C2 class, Florence and Hounslow missed out on the final thanks to six seconds of penalties.
The duo have shown what they are capable of having taken the gold medal in the World Cup One event in Cardiff but it was the time penalties that cost them this time out, leaving them down in 13th
Hounslow commented: “We’re frustrated to miss the final again after such a good start to the World Cup series in Cardiff. We are paddling fast, we just need to smooth off the rough edges.”
Florence added: “It was disappointing to miss the final, we were easily fast enough but you can’t expect to make a final with 6 seconds of penalties. I’m still happy with the weekend to come away
with the silver in my C1.”
Lizzie Neave was also in action in Spain but she was restricted to a tenth place finish in the K1.
The Highams Park competitor initially picked up four seconds of penalties but this was later increased to 54 after she was awarded a 50 at gate seven.
She explained “I’m disappointed with today, a late decision by the video judge left me with a 50. It was a tricky course and I never quite got my lines right.”
The event brings a close to the pre-Olympic competition for the trio, who form part of the five-strong squad to represent Team GB at London 2012.
Summing up the World Cup campaign, Gotz enthused: “We have had a successful World Cup campaign with four medals; it has showed that our preparation and race processes are working and that on any
given day we can come out and deliver.
“There is another 40 days to go, which we need to recover and settle back into the London course.
“I’m very pleased and confident that with what we’ve seen over the last few weeks, we are on track.”