Forth Canoe Club’s David Florence rounded off a dream weekend by striking gold in yesterday’s C2 doubles final at the World Slalom Championships in Prague – barely 24 hours after winning the C1 singles title, writes LORIN McDOUGALL.
The 31-year-old and Rich Hounslow went one better than their Olympic silver from last summer but only by the narrowest of margins.
Boosted by the shock semi-final exit of the Slovak twins and title favourites Pavol and Peter Hochschorner, the Britons produced an error-free run timed at 114.10secs.
Drawn second-last, Czechs Jaroslav Volf and Ondrej Stepanek went quicker but clipped a gate to incur a two-second time penalty, leaving them in second place by just 0.04secs. Only another Czech pairing, Jonas Kaspar and Marek Sindler, could deny Florence and Hounslow now, but they too fell short to dash the home crowd’s hopes at the Troja course.
“What an amazing race!” said an ecstatic Florence. “It’s been an absolutely incredible weekend for me. I can’t believe how well it has gone – it all just went right for me!
“I’ve got two Olympic silvers but this is undoubtedly one of the biggest achievements of my life. It’s been a frustrating season for me, but finishing second in the final World Cup race (in Bratislava) stood me in good stead this week.”
Florence had a similarly close shave in Saturday’s C1 final, beating Slovakia’s Alex Slafkovsky by just 0.83secs to claim Britain’s first world title since 1995.