Nerves appeared to get the better of sprint canoeist Rachel Cawthorn earlier today, as she finished sixth in the women’s K1 500m final, with Hungary’s Danuta Kozak claiming the gold.
After winning her heat, there were high hopes for Cawthorn and she was on the hunt for a medal at Eton Dorney. But she couldn’t shake off the nerves, admitting that she was sick through worry prior to her kayak final.
“I spent a lot of the night awake,” the 23-year-old admitted. “I went to go and have breakfast, then came upstairs and got rid of my breakfast – so that didn’t stay down for long.
“You’re just running on adrenaline, so you don’t really need food at that point.”
Cawthorn eventually finished almost two seconds behind winner Kozak, who claimed victory in 1:51.456.
Inna Osypenko-Radomska of Ukraine claimed silver, whilst South Africa’s Bridgitte Hartley bagged bronze.
Speaking of her performance, Cawthorn said: “It was hard and just so quick. It was over, just like that. There was so much thinking about it before, and then by half past 10 it would all be gone.
“I got a good start, but I don’t think I was paddling as efficiently. I just ran out of course. It was really hard to push through, but I judge on when you finish, how dead you feel. I felt I went as fast as I could on that end bit, but looking back on it I’ll probably think about it for ages and think if I just went a little bit faster on that bit.”
Despite the result, Cawthorn is grateful for the experience and is looking forward to the future. “It’s made me realise how a cycle works a bit more, and why you train for those four years and how you pace out,” she said. “You can’t hit each year as hard as the next.”
She had already been in action this Olympics along with Jess Walker, Angela Hannah and Louisa Sawers as a part of the British team that finished fifth in the K4 500m final.
Louisa Sawers and Abigail Edmonds were also in action today, and despite not being in with a chance of a medal due to competing in the B final of the women’s K2 500m, they put in a strong performance to finish third in their race.
That placed them 11th overall, with a time of 1 minute 46.341 seconds.
The race was won by Belarus pair Volha Khudzenka and Maryna Pautaran in a time of 1 minute 44.407 seconds, with Swedish pair Josefin Nordlow and Karin Johansson finishing second.
German pair Franziska Weber and Tina Dietze took gold after winning the ‘A’ final, ahead of Hungary in second and Poland, who took bronze.
The Women’s Sports Magazine