Beijing hero Florence doubles up

  • Last Updated: July 5 2012, 14:39 BST

David Florence, who struck silver in Beijing, will be one of five canoe slalom entrants competing at the London 2012 Olympics.

Team GB: The slalom canoe team for London 2012.

Florence will compete in the one-man canoe category again and in the two-man canoe (C2) with Richard Hounslow.

Hounslow will also compete in the single kayak event but his inclusion in that event means there is no place for Campbell Walsh, who won silver in Athens eight years ago.

As both Florence and Hounslow compete in singles events, there is an extra spot in the C2 event, which has been awarded to Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott.

Lizzie Neave, 25, takes the only women's place in the single kayak event, after impressing the coaches by winning all three of her selection races earlier this month.

The selection announcement came at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, where the Olympics slalom event will be held.

In the two-man canoe event, the main competition will come from the Slovakian twins, the Hochschorner brothers, who have won gold at the last three Olympic Games.

Hounslow, 30, said he expected the home advantage will count for the UK's top athletes although he admitted the atmosphere was going to be "pretty intense".

He said: "To be selected is even sweeter because I missed out in Beijing, so to have put the effort in over the last four years and for it to have paid off is a dream come true.

"Initially, when I knew I was selected, I was absolutely delighted, hugs and things all round, but now we are back in to training. You can't rest on your laurels, I am in the team but that is just one box ticked.

"We now have to prepare ourselves mentally and physically for the main event so there is still a lot more work to do and hopefully I can make a few fine adjustments here and there and bring home a medal."

Florence said trust between him and Hounslow in the two-man event was crucial to success.

He almost retired after the Beijing Olympics in search of a new challenge but the lure of competing in London proved too great.

Florence said: "I think what holds us together the most is that we want to achieve the same thing ultimately.

"We may not agree day-to-day on the best way to do things but we have never had a falling out which is pretty important for a C2 crew.

"It's a difficult sport to get on in because you can make major mistakes every day in training. That's the nature of canoe slalom and it is very easy to blame the other man in the boat but at the end of the day we both want the same thing which is for the boat to go as fast as it can."

Neave, who at 25 is the youngest member of the squad, described the selection process as "tough" after she had to see off competition from the Scottish canoeist Fiona Pennie.

She said she was looking forward to competing at the Lee Valley course, near Broxbourne, where the team has been based for the past 18 months.

John Anderson, performance director of the slalom team, said selectors had taken advantage of a rule change which now allowed athletes to compete in two events.

He said it was a narrow field competing at the Games, adding there were a number of athletes "massively disappointed" at missing selection.

Anderson said: "Our collective aspiration for slalom and sprint combined is that the canoeing athletes will win three medals.

"Throughout the whole of our canoeing team we believe we have athletes who are very capable of challenging for the podium so it is not about a particular athlete, it's about a collective responsibility from canoeing generally."

Team: David Florence, Richard Hounslow, Tim Baillie, Etienne Stott, Lizzie Neave.