GB slalom canoeists fail to reach podium at test event
Campbell Walsh, the 2004 Olympic silver medallist, says he was surprised by the performances of foreign athletes racing for the first time at Lee Valley.
"I've been impressed with the foreign paddlers, because this is a difficult course," Walsh told BBC Sport.
"Achieving podiums off just one week of training really shows their skill."
He added: "I'm not saying the British paddlers aren't as skillful, it's just that we would have actually expected to do a little better."
"The course is perfect, very beautiful clean water and it's very technical. I like it very much and it takes a lot of concentration, but it was not as difficult as it could have been," Martikan told BBC Sport.
Richard Hounslow suffered a two-second time penalty and a total of one minute 38.54 seconds landed him fifth place in the men's K1, but Walsh failed to progress beyond the semi-finals.
"It's been a busy weekend," said Hounslow, who also competes in the C2 event.
"I was unfortunate to hit a gate right at the end and that cost me a medal, but I'm working towards the Olympics and generally I feel that things are going well.
"I'm making steady improvement, so hopefully with another year's training I'll be back up on top."
However, the German team successfully appealed against a 50-second time penalty, resulting in GB's demotion.
Despite his team failing to win a medal, GB canoeing performance director John Anderson insists he remains "quietly confident" after watching this week's finals.
"Obviously we want to be on the podium, but we have one or two in each class that that are recording the quickest times for the course, they just suffered from one of two time penalties," he told BBC Sport.
"Some nations have used this event for their Olympic selection, so they've come rested and have taken it really seriously, whereas we have just come back from two weeks of solid training.
"It's only one athlete per nation at an Olympics, so overall I'm pretty confident about our chances next year."
"If any of our athletes get a medal out there, then you could say they have one hand on a qualification spot," concluded Anderson.
"However, we'll have a further three races over three days in the UK in April, which will be a closed event. The results from that and the World Championships will help determine who makes the team."