Brabants ready to go
Elmbridge Canoe Club star Tim Brabants dips a first toe into the water of his Olympic K1 1,000m title defence when he races in Nottingham on Saturday.
The Teddington-based 35-year-old, who won gold in Beijing four years ago, takes part in the first National Sprint Regatta of the summer at the National Water Sports Centre on Saturday.
It is the first of four races that will determine whether Brabants will make the final cut for the London Olympics as he bids to put a sub-standard 2011 firmly behind him.
Olympic selection for the Team GB sprint kayak team is based on this weekend’s racing, plus a further national regatta in June and the first two World Cup races of the summer in May, held in Poznan, in Poland, and in Duisburg, in Germany.
Shoulder surgery in November 2010 and illness ultimately saw Brabants under-cooked for the qualifiers for the 2011 world championships, where he competed with Ben Farrell in the K2 event having lost his K1 1,000m place in a race-off with rival Paul Wycherley.
And sprint canoe head coach Brendan Purcell expected fireworks at the weekend.
“I’m really excited to get the first part of the selection process under way,” he said.
“Coaches and athletes alike just want to go out and race after good winter training.
“We are really hoping to see our 200m men nail the nomination criteria on Saturday.”