Great Britain’s Liam Heath claimed gold in the kayak individual 200m sprint, beating France’s Maxime Beaumont and Spain’s Saul Craviotto.
This gold in the kayak 200m sprint makes Heath the most successful British in canoe sprinting. He now has one bronze, from the same event in London 2012, and silver in the double to go with this individual gold.
In the tense and tight final, the 32-year-old started off badly, ending up in last at the 80m mark. Then the Team GB athlete used his trademark power and strength to move through the field. In the closing stages, Heath swept past Beaumont to finish in a time of 35.197 seconds, 0.165 seconds ahead.
“It has been in my mind every single day for the last four years, but I felt that I went into automatic pilot,” Heath told BBC Sport.
“It is unbelievable. You don’t realise who is where alongside you. You are just focused on your lane.
“It is worth every ounce. I want to thank everyone here and at home. Jon has been out everyday doing drills with me and checking my boat over even though he finished.”
Throughout the Rio Olympics, Heath has performed exceptionally winning the silver in the 200m kayak double with Jon Schofield – his close friend and teammate who live together in Maidenhead and train at Dorney Lake – before finishing his competition winning the kayak single 200m sprint gold this morning.
Great Britain has had a lot of recent success at the Olympics in this event. Briton Ed McKeever won gold in the individual kayak 200m sprint in London 2012 and now Liam Heath has followed suit four years later.
Liam Heath’s success is Great Britain’s 25th gold medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Taking their total medal tally to 61. Second in the medal tally behind USA and ahead of China in third.