Photograph courtesy of AEPhotos
Loughborough canoeists qualify for the Olympics
16 April 2012
Loughborough University graduates Jon Schofield, Liam Heath, and Lizzie Neave have successfully achieved the nomination criteria to be selected for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Jon (Human Biology) and Liam (Industrial Design and Technology) formed a partnership late in 2009, when the canoeing programme for the London 2012 Games decided to introduce a K2 (kayak doubles) 200 metres event. Both had previously excelled at the shorter distances, and made the commitment to aim for London 2012.
Jon and Liam have progressed rapidly. In 2011 they won the European Championships in Spain, and claimed the silver medal at the World Championships in Hungary.
At the first National Sprint Regatta for the season, held in Nottingham, Jon and Liam crossed the finishing line comfortably in first place to secure their Team GB nomination and showing they mean medal business in 2012.
Following his race Jon Schofield said:
“It’s pretty surreal really it’s going to take a while for it to sink in that we are going to 2012 and represent Team GB, it’s the realisation of years of hard work. We are definitely moving forward and we know the standard in the world is going to be higher this year, but we are moving in the right direction. We’ve had a really good winters training and a really good race today so we think we are on track for London.”
At the Olympic canoe slalom course in Lee Valley, former University 2012 sports scholar Lizzie Neave secured her nomination in the women’s K1 (kayak single) after winning all of her races.
A stunned but delighted Lizzie Neave said:
“I can’t quite believe it and I think it will take some time to sink in. It didn’t all go quite according to plan, but I held it together, had a plan B at the bottom and didn’t panic. There was only ever going to be one of us making the team and I am just pleased it was me.”