David Florence’s special knack for getting it right when it matters suddenly deserted him over the weekend as the Edinburgh canoeist failed to retain either of his two world titles at the World Slalom Championships at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland.
Double gold in the C1 singles and C2 doubles in Prague last September – plus his two Olympic silver medals and a host of World Cup victories – counted for nothing in America where the 32-year-old sensationally missed out on both finals.
Having finished only 22nd with Rich Hounslow in Friday’s C2 heats, Florence was determined to bounce back in Saturday’s C1 semis, but an error-strewn run timed at 119.95secs was nowhere near quick enough to qualify for the final and left him down in 26th place. His arch rival Michal Martikan also failed to progress, while American Fabien Levevre went on to score a surprise victory in the final.
“I missed a gate and had to go back for it,” explained Florence. “It’s a difficult course, but others managed.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to come away from lots of races very pleased with the result, but not this time. It was a very disappointing one for me, and it was a pretty interesting set of results with no Slovak medals at all.
“It wasn’t a good weekend and it’s disappointing to end the season on a low, but I’ve had some great results in the World Cup and it was fantastic to hold the world No. 1 ranking through so much of this year.
“I’ll just have to put it all behind me now and get back to training and start to focus on next season.”