McKeever going for gold

Britain’s Ed McKeever is hoping to put the hype surrounding him to good use as he bids for Olympic gold in the K1 200m at London 2012.

Eurosport

The 28-year-old, who won K1 200m gold at the opening World Cup of the year in Poznan, will begin his campaign at Eton Dorney on Friday.

And McKeever, who is dubbed the Usain Bolt of the K1 200m, is keen to admit that the pressure that comes with such a high profile tag doesn’t affect him.

“I wouldn’t say being called the Usain Bolt of canoe and kayak sprinting is pressure,” he said. “I kind of used to that comment now and it makes me laugh a little bit.

“It’s not a tag that helps me, when I get to the start line, it doesn’t strike fear into my competitors, but hopefully the crowd do a bit of that for me.

“I’m not feeling pressure at all. Me and the coaches have been very strong and we don’t feel pressure like that. We just watch each other and want to do better.

“It’s one of those events where the racing is so tight that anyone can have a flier on the day, and hopefully that will be me who does that.”

After Team GB produced a sensational nine medal haul from British rowers – including four golds, two silvers and three bronzes – the spectators were hailed for their part in the success, an exciting prospect for McKeever.

“I think it would be fantastic to hear the ‘Dorney roar’, especially for us as they’ll be pretty much for the whole of our race rather than just the last bit. It would be great and we’d like to give them something to roar about,” he said.

“Racing at the World Championships last year is the most similar thing we’ve done. The crowd there was about 30,000 and they were pretty noisy, so I imagine it would be a similar thing.

“Personally, I would love to be contributing to the overall medals for Team GB, as would the other guys.”

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