Canoeing: Florence travels to Rio for Olympics prep

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Edinburgh canoeist David Florence steps up his Olympic preparations when he jets off to Brazil today, and the master of meticulous planning has even been learning Portuguese ahead of the three-week racing and training trip.

The three-time world slalom champion and the other members of Britain’s Rio 2016 squad – Rich Hounslow, Joe Clarke and Crieff’s Fiona Pennie – will take part in next week’s Olympic test event at the Deodoro White Water Stadium in Rio before spending a fortnight training on the brand-new facility.

“The course was only just finished late this summer and no-one from outside Brazil has really seen it yet,” said Florence. “I’ve recently completed the longest season I’ve ever competed in, but I can’t wait to start my preparations for the Olympic Games.”

The 33-year-old is targeting double gold next August in the C1 singles and C2 doubles (with Hounslow) after claiming silver medals in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.