In one of the most amazing days for Great Britain at the 2012 Games so far, Lee Valley White Water Centre took centre stage for a short while with the incredible achievement of Gold/Silver 1-2 for Britain’s slalom canoeists.
Lee Valley may be 30 Kilometres north from the Olympic Park but the cheering from the supporters packed into the area would have been heard all the way to Slovakia, the home of the undisputed Olympic champions, till now.
Peter and Pavol Hochschorner have won gold after gold and the thought would have been at these home Olympics that if Great Britain could at least push these two brothers then at least they may finish the day with a medal of sorts. What no-one could have foreseen was the unbelievable sight of two sets of British teams breaking up the records of slalom canoeing and carrying the British flag not just once but twice up the flag pole.
The six pairs of canoeists from China, Poland, Slovakia, France and the two Brits gave an excellent account of themselves in a final that was fitting an Olympic final. Tom Balllie, Etienne Stott, David Florence and Richard Hounslow created a little bit of history by gaining the coveted top two spots and in fine style with no penalties for either British side. Both teams also registered times under one minute seven seconds, a full one and half seconds ahead of the reigning Olympic champions. This was a canoeing revolution, not since the before the dawn of the new century has anyone taken the top spot from the Hochschorner brothers. In terms of canoeing, it’s a seismic shift and one that Britain can take full advantage of.
As the sound of the national anthem made its way over the Lee Valley and the news made its way to up and down the country, the thoughts of all fans of the sport were in unison, let the canoeing revolution begin.
Gold: Ballie, Stott (Great Britain)
Silver: Florence, Hounslow (Great Britain)
Bronze: Hochschorner. Hochsschorner (Slovakia)
Ian D. Hall