London 2012: British sprint canoe trio earn Team GB places

Ed McKeever, Jon Schofield and Liam Heath will paddle for Team GB at London 2012 after winning races at the British sprint canoe squad's national regatta.

McKeever will race in the men's K1 (one-man kayak) 200m event, with Heath and Schofield in the two-man discipline over the same distance.

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Jon Schofield, from Clitheroe, is a former white-water canoe slalom world No1 who had failed to qualify for Beijing in the longer-distance sprint events.

The three world silver medallists are the first sprint racers to be selected.

Meanwhile Beijing 2008 Olympic champion Tim Brabants beat rival Paul Wycherley in the first of three race-offs.

Brabants edged their K1 1000m heat on Nottingham's Holme Pierrepont course by three hundredths of a second.

Wycherley beat Brabants last summer, earning himself the right to compete at the 2011 World Championships, but Brabants - who won gold over the distance at the last Olympics, as well as bronze over 500m - has started his home Olympic year in excellent form.

"It was important to get a good race done and thankfully I got the right result," said Brabants.

"The last four years have gone surprisingly quick. It's been up and down and very different to the last Olympic cycle but hopefully I'm on the right side of it now."

Two races remain, at separate World Cup events in May, and the first to two wins will be selected in Team GB for the London Olympics.

In the women's events, Rachel Cawthorn won her K1 races over both the 200m and 500m distances to strengthen her claim to a place on the Olympic team.

McKeever, Heath and Schofield are expected to receive their official nominations to Team GB in the near future.

"It was nice to get Olympic selection over with at the first possible opportunity as you don't want it hanging over you," said McKeever.

"Now I've got to crack on and find a bit more speed before the World Cups in May."