Latest entry

Tim Brabants is a big fan of any kayak, not just the kind in which he wins Olympic gold.

The world and Olympic kayak single 1000m champion also enjoys a spot of sea kayaking off the South African coast.

"I love going out on the sea. If you've got the skills and the fitness, you can enjoy it and mess around, and learn new skills," he says. "Like shark evading."

We have had hockey players with lions as training partners before, but kayakers racing sharks is a new one.

Continue reading "Brabants refuses to get out of the water"

Recent entries


At around 8am on Saturday morning, a pack of Britain's young canoeists gathered at the National Sports centre at Bisham Abbey to watch Tim Brabants power his way down the flat water of the Shunyi lake.

The (remaining) champagne had been on ice since Friday, when Brabants became Britain's first ever Olympic gold medallist in the sport.

"In the first two strokes there was no doubt I was going to win. No-one was going to come past me, I felt fantastic," he'd said after his win over 1,000m and hopes were high he would become team GB's fourth double gold medallist at this Games over the 500m course.

Sadly, he was out-paddled to the gold in a thrilling finish ("you could throw a doily over the three of them" according to Ben Dirs, our text commentator on duty at the time).

But he did pick up a bronze to make sure the sport exceeded its 2008 medal target of two (Brabants' pair plus slalom silver for Aberdonian David Florence), to cue more corks popping among his fellow paddlers.

And it's not just because Brabants is apparently "one of the nicest, most humble, self-effacing elite athletes you could meet," according to Anne Ferguson, U23 development manager at the British Canoe Union.

Continue reading "Could canoeing emulate British 'sitting down' success?"

It's been a long wait, but I've seen the letter confirming my place at the Olympics. We did our first team selection back in April and the second one in the beginning of May, then the qualification race at the end of May, which feels like ages ago. It's been anxious, but it's been worth it.

We didn't qualify outright so that's why we had to wait. We were told they were 99% sure but, until you get official confirmation and your letter from the BOA congratulating you, it's not a done deal.

That's quite hard but everyone told us to be positive and train on the assumption we'd be on the team. We were given forms to sign and we had our jabs done a couple of weeks ago, so we've been doing all the preparation anyway, but it's great to have that finally nailed.

Continue reading "Finally in the boat for Beijing"

Germany's Birgit Fischer (front) wins her eighth kayak gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games

Continue reading "Olympic countdown - 42 days - Kayaking Queen"

At least two of Britain's gold medal hopes for Beijing started out in completely different sports and you could follow their path to glory in 2012!

Of course it's not as easy as that but the UK's sporting authorities are keen to open up a new route to the top of the Olympic podium.

Fresh on the heels of Sporting Giants and Pitch2Podium comes Girls4Gold, a mass recruitment drive for young women as another plank in Team GB's aim to finish fourth in the medal table in London in four years' time.

This isn't about finding people who are good at their chosen sport and pushing them to the top. It's about finding people who are already good at one sport but might be better at another.

Continue reading "New routes to Olympic success"

The British slalom canoeing team for the Beijing Olympics has been confirmed at the sport's base, the water sports centre at Holme Pierrepont, near Nottingham.

When I say British, I really mean Scottish. The trio competing in Beijing will be 30-year-old Campbell Walsh, Fiona Pennie, who's 25, and David Florence, also 25. Walsh was born in Glasgow, Pennie hails from Crieff in Perthshire, and Florence is from Aberdeen.

Helen Reeves, who won bronze in the K1 (kayak single) class in Athens four years ago, will be commentating for BBC Sport on this summer's events. I've just spoken to her about the team for Beijing and she's confident the Scots can bring home some medals.

Continue reading "Slalom canoeists offer strong chance of gold"


"It helps if you're a bit of a nutter ... do I really have to say that?"

Helen Reeves won a bronze medal in canoe slalom at Athens and is going to be commentating for the BBC in Beijing. Now we're working through the script for BBC Sport's video guide to slalom with her. Apparently she's not a nutter.

Continue reading "Headcamaraderie on the slalom course"

Welcome to our Olympics and Paralympics blog, which we are launching as the countdown to the 2008 Games begins in earnest.

Wednesday marks exactly 100 days to go to the 8 August opening ceremony (though oddly enough the football tournament starts two days earlier).

Writers from across BBC Sport, Radio 5Live, BBC London and BBC News will bring you the inside track on all 28 Olympic sports, as well as the Games themselves - which are set to be truly fascinating, if controversial, given China's hosting of them.

One of the uncertainties at the moment from a British perspective is whether the Games will turn out to be a triumph - or a failure. My view is...

Continue reading "Welcome to our new Olympics blog"

Keep reading this blog for all the latest about the Olympics and Paralympics in Beijing and also for the inside track on the long build-up to London 2012.

News and reports will be on the BBC Sport website but our experts will bring you behind the scenes access to the world's biggest sporting event right here.

All of our bloggers are keen to hear your views and we want people to engage and comment on what we have to say.

To find out more about all our contributors, check our about their author pages.

Comments on this blog will be moderated 24 hours per day seven days per week.

Please keep your comments clean.

Comments which fail our house rules (listed below) will be removed.

Continue reading "About the Olympics blog"

I'm a British flatwater canoeist representing GB in Beijing.

More to follow.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites