Olympics canoeing: Ed McKeever wants GB to dominate after gold

Olympic champion Ed McKeever believes Great Britain's London 2012 canoeing success can help the squad establish themselves as the world's best.

GB have achieved their biggest canoeing Olympic medal haul ever at these Games, winning gold and silver in the slalom and gold and bronze in the sprint.

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If we keep pushing forward and developing, I think we can become the leading canoeing nation in the world.

Ed McKeever

"We have never had that many so it's a fantastic boost," said McKeever.

"If we keep pushing forward and developing, I think we can become the leading canoeing nation in the world."

The 2010 European and World champion, 28, added: "Our 200m squad is winning medals at every event and the squad as a whole is improving all the time. We can take a lot of encouragement from these Games."

Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott won Britain's first-ever canoe slalom gold medal when they triumphed in the men's double final, with team-mates David Florence and Richard Hounslow winning the silver.

A barren week followed at Eton Dorney as the canoe sprint regatta got under way, but that all changed when McKeever won gold on Saturday, the final day.

The British pairing of Liam Heath and Jon Schofield followed that up with bronze in the men's kayak double K2.

Leading up to the Games, McKeever was called the "the Usain Bolt of the water" because of his impressive burst of speed over 200m.

"I tried to ignore it most of the time before the Games, but I'm more willing to accept it now that I've got a gold medal," he said.

McKeever relieved to deliver gold

McKeever, described as "an absolute animal" on the water by team-mate Richard Jefferies, began canoeing when he was 12 and five years later he was selected for Great Britain.

Since then, he has won one World Championship gold and two silvers, seizing his chance to compete in the Olympics when the 200m replaced the 500m events at London 2012.

"I was quite a good 500m paddler," added McKeever, who can bench 160kg and travels at seven metres per second at top speed.

"I've always been quite powerful and could get away from most people in the first 200m, but I would then have to hang on in the end. The 200m race was much better suited to me."

McKeever plans to head to the seaside for a few days to celebrate before putting the final plans in place for his wedding in September.

Asked about whether he will defend his title at Rio 2016, McKeever, who studies accountancy at Kingston University, remained coy.

"I'll be 32 by then, so it's not impossible, but we'll have to wait. I've got my accounting exams to do later this year, so my focus is on that."