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Richard Hounslow and David Florence qualify for C2 semi-finals after improved second run

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Richard Hounslow booked his second semi-final spot in two days but only after some nervous moments in the rapids of the Lee Valley White Water Centre on Monday.

The 30-year-old Harrow-born canoeist, who now lives in Loughton, Essex, qualified for the individual men’s kayak (K1) semi-finals on Sunday and was in action again in Monday’s canoe doubles (C2) with David Florence.

The pair are medal contenders but endured a nightmare first run in which they incurred six penalties to sit in 10th place out of the 14 competing pairs with a time of 108.23 seconds.

With only the top 10 moving forward to Thursday’s semi-finals, Hounslow and Florence were under pressure to avoid a shock exit, and were well behind their fellow British pair, Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott, who sat third after a clean run of 100.44 seconds. Hounslow and Florence needed an error-free display on the second run. They seemed nervous at the start as they made their way through the first gates at speed.

But by the end the pair looked visibly relieved after they secured fifth spot with a time of 101.68 seconds and a place in the semi-finals.

Speaking afterwards, Hounslow said they had decided in their second run to approach gates 12 and 13 head-on rather than through a spin as they did first time round.

He added: “There was no need to risk anything. Before our first run we were thinking of doing it (gates 12 and 13) forwards but when people started struggling with it we opted for the spin.

“It was probably a mistake with the first run but on that second run we felt forwards was easier than it was the spin so we went with that and did it pretty comfortably. Once we had done that we just held it together.”

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