David Florence impresses at Olympic test in Brazil

David Florence

David Florence

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Edinburgh canoeist David Florence put down an early marker for next summer’s Rio Games with a dominant display at the Olympic test event in Brazil, winning the C1 singles and narrowly missing out on double gold in the C2 doubles.

The triple world slalom champion went quickest in the C1 heats, semis and final, finishing more than a second ahead of Japan’s Takuya Haneda with European champion Benjamin Savsek and World Cup winner Matej Benus both failing to reach the final.

“There were lots of big errors from the top names, but I’m still pleased to have taken top spot at an Olympic test event,” smiled Florence.

It was a remarkable turnaround in fortunes after he rattled several gates and missed one completely on his first competitive run last Thursday.

Victory in the C2 final might have given Florence and Rich Hounslow an early psychological edge over their Olympic rivals, but they clipped a barrier and eventually had to settle for second place behind Slovenia’s Sasa Taljat and Luka Bozic.