Bradley Forbes-Cryans: Midlothian slalom canoeist bidding to make waves at start of new season
Midlothian slalom canoeist Bradley Forbes-Cryans is saving his best until last but wants to start delivering from the start of the international season in 2022.
The 27-year-old from Roslin secured K1 selection for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics thanks to a clutch performance at the 2019 World Championships, edging out team-mate Joe Clarke to selection.
And although he usually produces his best in the final moments of the season, the Scot wants to change that this season.
He said: "I've had a really strong winter's training. Over the years I have generally had better results in the back end of the season and everything else has come naturally to me at the start of the season.
"So for me, I'm just trying to lock into those processes and deliver some strong performances straight off the bat in my first race at the Europeans Championships."
The European Championships take place at the end of May and Forbes-Cryans has hopes that good memories of racing in Liptovsky, Slovakia will bring that early success.
Forbes-Cryans punched his ticket onto the senior team after a challenging selection series that forced him to overcome a tough opening day.
He said: "Trying to make the senior team is such a massive peak in the season before you've even done any other international competitions, just because the standard of British canoeists.
"In previous years I has been myself Joe and Chris [Bowers] and we have kind of always locked out those top three spots but now there are a good group of under-23 paddlers biting at your heels.
"It put me in a really difficult position to try and make the team so I put my head down and just tried to lock into my processes.
“I built some consistent results but I didn't have a better result than a third place which was really disappointing for me.
"In canoe slalom a small wave can make the difference between the result you want and the one you don't."
The 2023 World Championships will be held at British Canoeing's home centre and the official site of the London 2012 Olympics, Lee Valley White Water Centre.
Forbes-Cryans was just 20 when he first competed at a home Worlds. Now an Olympian, Forbes-Cryans now has experience and perspective in his back pocket, tools needed to make it on the world stage.
"It's actually a real privilege. Lee Valley is one of the best centres in the world, if not the best. And to be able to compete at a second world champs here it would be amazing."
"I feel like I was maybe a bit young to understand the significance of that before, because they don't come around often or ever, so to hopefully get to race a second one would be awesome."
•British Canoeing is the National Governing Body for paddlesports in the UK. If you’ve been inspired by Bradley and want to try paddling, visit the Go Paddling website https://gopaddling.info