Hounslow has Olympic target
PUBLISHED: 16:15 31 July 2015
PA Archive/PA Images
Big year for London 2012 medalist
By his own admission, it’s been far from smooth waters for Richard Hounslow this season, but the slalom canoe Olympic silver medalist insists he is not lacking for motivation going into a crucial 12 months.
Three years ago, Hounslow caught the nation’s attention at London 2012 as he and C2 partner David Florence took silver at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in a British one-two behind Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott.
Baillie has since retired, leaving Stott to find a new partner in Mark Proctor, while Hounslow has continued alongside Florence with the London 2012 venue now turning into the British team’s permanent training base.
The medals have also continued to flow too, including at May’s European Championships in Germany where London Youth Games alumni Hounslow took C2 bronze and K1 team silver.
But as one of the older members of the team, 33-year-old Hounslow has found the going tough at times, with extensive travelling for the opening three World Cups not helping matters.
A further two trips to Spain and France are on the cards next month before a welcome return to Lee Valley for September’s home World Championships.
And while selection for Rio 2016 would present an even further trip, Hounslow insists it’s something he’s prepared to endure if it means getting his hands on Olympic gold.
“It’s incredible to think it’s been three years since London 2012. They are great memories for me and it keeps me going,” he said.
“It was fantastic to win a silver medal, but I want to win a gold medal. Having that at the back of my head keeps me going and keeps me pushing for more.
“The season so far in 2015 got off to a good start. The first race for us internationally was the European championships and in C2 that went really well and I got a bronze medal.
“Then we went off for a three-week tour for the World Cups. They weren’t the best for me, but again it’s all training and learning.
“In myself and in my head I wasn’t in a great place. I’m one of the senior athletes in the team, I’ve been around for a while and to be honest I didn’t really enjoy being away. In the past and previous years I’ve had people on the team of a closer age to me.
“It’s just a case of refocusing and making sure the next time when I go away I know what I’m doing, and I’ve got things to keep myself busy.
“I’m going away again for two weeks to Spain and France so I’m hoping I’ve got my head sorted and we can put some good results in.”
Hounslow is currently ranked 12th in the C2 and 44th in the K1 World Cup standings this season going into the final rounds in Spain from August 7-9 and France the following weekend.
And the Brit is well aware of the importance of building up momentum ahead of the World Championships.
“The next World Cup is in Spain and that was where the 1992 Olympics were and the second one is just over the Pyrenees into France,” he added.
“It’s quite a big town in France, it’s where the main senior French team are based.
“They’ll obviously be wanting to put some good results down on their home water just like we’ll want to do the same at the World Championships.
“I’m hoping that I’ll get good results but no matter what happens, I’ll pick myself up and be ready for the World Championships.”
*See the world’s top canoe slalom athletes in action on the Olympic course in London at the Canoe Slalom World Championships.
See ticketmaster.co.uk/london2015 for tickets.