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Bucks girls gear up for Games with fourth in Croatia
RATHER now than then; that’s the message after two Bucks girls got the one result that would really sting if they repeated it at the London Olympics in just over a month.
Louisa Sawers and Jessica Walker were in Croatia with the GB kayak squad for the European Championships last weekend. It was their last competitive race before the Games and, agony of agonies, their K4 crew came fourth.
Sawers, from Marlow, said: “We got fourth at the World Championships last year and now we’ve come fourth at the European Championships.
“Hopefully we’re getting all those fourths out of the way and we can step it up a bit at the Olympics.”
To do that they have one second to make up on Hungary, who finished third in Croatia.
At that level, a second can seem like a lifetime but there are more than a few reasons for Sawers and Walker to back themselves.
For one thing, the Croatia experience was the first outing of the new-look K4 crew. It was a case of two in and two out after the GB trials and the chemistry is still developing.
Sawers said: “You can train a crew and get a lot out of them.
“We can definitely go quicker, we’ve got more to give but some of the other crews have been together for years and are pretty much at their limit.
“We had a really good race plan and were very powerful.
“It was our first race together so it was pretty good. We were pretty happy with it and hopefully we can build on that confidence now.”
Germany and Belarusia also finished ahead of GB in Croatia and Sawers expects the same suspects to be battling it out for Olympic medals.
She said: “I think the medal winners at the Olympics were all there. Maybe Australia could get to the final, but the top countries are all European.”
Next up for Sawers and Flackwell Heath’s Walker is kitting out on Monday, before final Games preparations take place in Barcelona.
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