Sprint canoeist Ed Cox: I missed out on London 2012 but I still have a crucial role to play
British 200m sprint canoeist Ed Cox won't be competing at London 2012, but he still has a role to play in Team GB's success
Sprint canoeist Ed Cox paddles the anchor leg in Great Britain's 4x200m relay team. The British quartet won a silver medal at the last world championships.
Ed's specialist event is not part of the 2012 Olympic canoe sprint programme. But that doesn't mean he won't be deeply involved in Team GB's medal bid at Dorney Lake.
"Truthfully, I knew [I'd miss out] a long time before the selection was announced so I had a long time to prepare for it," explains Ed. "But I still have a crucial role to play. I'm helping to train Ed McKeever (GB's representative in the men's individual 200m). Though I won't be the one out there racing to get that Olympic medal, I'm still putting in everything I can to help someone else."
The individual 200m canoe sprint event will make its first appearance as an Olympic event at London 2012. What can spectators expect from the sport's shortest event?
"The 200m is fast and it's explosive," says Ed. "You have to have a lot of aggression, but it's got to be controlled aggression. Too much and you'll throw yourself out of the boat! The start is absolutely crucial. You're looking to have your boat up to speed within eight strokes. If you get a bad start in the 200m, you're not coming back to win."
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Ed McKeever will represent Great Britain in the individual 200m canoe sprint at London 2012 and Ed Cox will be offering him his full support in training
Increasing your speed throughout the race and being able to tolerate pain are crucial to success in the 200m.
"You have to be accelerating the whole way," reveals Cox. "Two hundred metres doesn't sound that far but it starts to hurt quite early on and you find yourself hanging on. At the halfway mark, when the wheels are coming off, you have to dig deep to find the control and power that will get you to the line. The guys that win are the guys that hang on the best."
In additional to a strong British medal haul at London 2012, Ed hopes sprint canoeing success at the Olympics will help spawn a new generation of GB paddlers.
"There's a new initiative called Go Canoeing that aims to build on the sport's legacy after the Olympics. [In order] to get people involved in canoeing at grass roots level, Go Canoeing offers guided tours and beginners lessons. It's the ideal package for families to start canoeing."
To find out more about canoeing, or to find a canoeing club in your area, visit the Go Canoeing website at http://www.gocanoeing.org.uk/
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