Future Olympic heroes join Sharks event
BUDDING future Olympians took to the same Harefield waters which were the proving ground for Team GB hero Richard Hounslow as The Sharks played host to a national canoe slalom league event.
Harrow-born paddler Hounslow teamed up with partner David Florence to add a bronze medal at Rio to the gold he and his pal managed to scoop on the biggest stage of all at London 2012.
Harefield, the scene of his early development, welcomed more than 150 entrants from across the country to the Sharks event, which saw competitors ranked at both level four and level three compete.
Sharks paddlers took two of the three top spots in the ladies’ kayak singles (K1) Division Four, with Tallulah Lacey winning and gaining promotion to National Division 3 and Roberta Back in third. In the men’s Division Four K1 event, Johan Kukkohovi was second with Yahiem Keely taking third.
Amelia Combes was first in the Division Three Ladies’ Canoe singles (C1) event. In the men’s K1 Division Three event, James Read came fourth and was first master, with Khaleel Zainddin 11th and Joel Gunnery 13th.
Catherine Robinson, taking part in her first slalom for several years, was fifth in the ladies’ K1 Division Three event.
The entry list for day two of the event was slightly larger and the added competition seemed to suit Shark paddlers.
In the men’s Division 4 event, Kukkohovi took top spot and winning promotion to National Division 3. Kiara Sheehan was third in the Ladies’ Division 4 event. Combes again took the Ladies’ Division 3 C1 event, with Robinson coming seventh in the Ladies K1 Division 3.
The men’s performance saw dramatic improvements as Read moved up to second place, leaving him needing just one good run this season to get promoted to National League Division Two. Joel Gunnery climbed to sixth with Zainddin only just behind in seventh. Conor Sheehan was 14th.
The Sharks train at Harefield every Monday evening from 5pm and are always looking for new recruits.
You do not need any experience or kit. If you are interested in joining them, please visit www. thesharks.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Neal Underwood on 07951 770 241.
n ATTRACTION: (Above) Harefield Sharks host a national league canoe slalom event; (left) Richard Hounslow (right) in action