Edinburgh’s Bradley Forbes-Cryans came out of the shadow of his mentor David Florence as Great Britain struck gold in the kayak team final at the World Canoe Slalom Championships in Rio.
Florence himself claimed his 11th world medal – a bronze – in Tuesday’s C1 team race. Forbes-Cryans won a silver medal at the World Under-23 Championships in Italy in July, but he went one better on Tuesday as he, Chris Bowers and Olympic champion Joe Clarke produced a near-perfect run. 92.45secs became the target for the rest to attack and, after Slovenia and France fell well short, the final trio from the Czech Republic crossed the line just 0.39secs behind although they were later penalised and relegated to third place behind Poland.
“Being senior world champion, I still can’t get my head round it!” admitted Forbes-Cryans. “We work hard and it’s all paid off today.
“We were just hoping that the other teams wouldn’t go faster than our time, and they didn’t. We’re absolutely buzzing and it’s a little bit unexpected because we don’t practice the team event that much. Most countries practice it every week, but we did a run at the Euros in June and another one earlier this week. We’ve started off with the colour we wanted and it’s absolutely fantastic!”
Florence had earlier missed out on his fourth world title after Slovakia beat Britain’s time by barely 0.40secs with runners-up Slovenia also going fractionally faster.
Ryan Westley, Adam Burgess and Florence set a testing target when they clocked 100.07secs despite incurring a two-second time penalty for clipping a gate.
“It’s a shame not to have won it because it was really, really tight, but it was easy to pick up a touch on such a tough course, and we got one,” said Florence. “It was still a very good run and it shows again how high the standard is in C1 in Britain. It’s always good to be on the podium and it’s great for me to have got another medal.”
Florence is back on the water on (Wednesday in the individual C1 heats.