SAWLEY’S Jon Schofield bounced back from what he described as the worst day of his career to snatch bronze in the K2 200m Olympic final on Saturday.
Schofield and partner Liam Heath were not at their best in the preliminary rounds earlier in the week and qualified fifth fastest through to the final.
But on the big day they found their best form when they needed it most, snatching third place on the line in a race won by the Russia duo of Yury Postrigay and Alexander Dyachenko.
And after a night of soul-searching for the pair, who have won European gold for the last three years in a row, Schofield conceded that bronze was as much as they deserved on the day.
“We had a pretty tough night before the race and so we went away and knew that we had to refocus and get a good start in the final,” he said.
“There was a tough headwind which doesn’t sound like much but in canoeing is a lifetime when you’re pushing as hard as you can and your muscles are screaming at you, we did everything we could.
“I know it might sound silly because this is the Olympics and it’s an amazing experience, but I would say Friday was the most horrible day of my career, we really raced badly, but we bounced back and produced when we needed to.
“I'm really proud that Liam managed to turn it round as well because in the pairing he sets everything up for me so for us to come back and put together the race that we did makes me very proud indeed.
“It was a big disappointment but we covered it up and ultimately we were the third best crew on the water and we’re delighted.”
On a fine day for canoe sprinting there were yet more medal joy for Team GB as Ed McKeever took gold in the K1 200m event in the first race of the morning.
And Schofield admitted that he and Heath had taken a lot of inspiration from their team-mates superb victory just minutes before their own race.
“Ever since 200m became an Olympic discipline we have all medalled so it was almost business as usual to see Ed come out and medal and we just knew we had to do our bit,” he added.
“We have all been living in each other’s pockets, doing the same training schedule and to see Ed’s amazing performance gave us great confidence in the training and what we had inside ourselves.”
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