Rio Olympics 2016: Britain's Liam Heath takes gold in kayak 200m sprint

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Britain's Heath wins gold in kayak 200m sprint

Great Britain's Liam Heath won his second medal at the Rio Olympics with victory in the men's kayak single 200m sprint.

Heath had already won silver in the K2 200m alongside Jon Schofield.

The 32-year-old held off France's Maxime Beaumont to claim Team GB's 25th gold of the Games in 35.197 seconds.

Englishman Heath, a 2012 bronze medallist, succeeds compatriot Ed McKeever - who failed to qualify for Rio - as Olympic champion.

"It has been in my mind every single day for the last four years, but I felt that I went into automatic pilot," said Heath.

"It is worth every ounce. I want to thank everyone here and at home. Jon has been out every day doing drills with me and checking my boat over even though he finished."

K2 partner Schofield watched the race from the Lagoa Stadium and told BBC Sport: "It so emotional to see one of your best friends do that.

Ed McKeever tweet
Britain's Ed McKeever, who previously held the Olympic title in the K2 sprint, congratulated Heath on his victory

"I have seen all the work that he has put in and how much he deserves it. He can truly inspire a generation back home - there is no point in doing any of this if it is not having a positive impact on peoples' lives."

Heath was pushed all the way by Beaumont but the Frenchman finished 0.165secs behind and had to settle for silver.

Saul Craviotto of Spain, who took gold in the K2 event, and Germany's Ronald Rauhe shared bronze.

"Hearts in our mouths in the stadium there but Liam being Liam just flew by them," added Schofield.

"I would like it if he got a better start but if you are as fast as Liam you can afford to be a little bit calmer in the early metres."

Also on a busy day of canoeing in Rio:

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