Staffs canoeist Adam Burgess aims for Tokyo 2020 Olympics


Stone’s Adam Burgess has his eyes set on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after leaving the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in Rio winning C1 team bronze and reaching semi-finals of the individual event.

Having won Britain’s first medal of the tournament last Friday, Burgess feels ‘bitter sweet’ about the team’s performance, after a penalty on gate 14 proved costly for the trio of Adam Burgess, Ryan Westley and David Florence.

Errors from the Brits led Slovakia to their 8th consecutive victory in the World Championships with Team GB only 0.4 seconds away from securing a gold medal.

“It’s up there with one of the best team performances we have done”, said Burgess.

“We won a silver medal last year and Slovakia won their seventh gold in a row last year and I was really keen on causing an upset.

“There was the penalty upstream near the end. Also, there was a bit of confusion from myself and David as he tried to leave the upstream too early which slowed me down a little bit towards the end, so they were the two points on the course where we could have beaten them.”

In 2016 Burgess broke into the Top 10 in the World rankings and suffered the heartbreak of missing out on Rio Olympics, but Stoke-On-Trent’s Sports Personality of the Year is eager to cement his place at Tokyo 2020 for what could be his first ever Olympic games.

“The thing for me that stood out was watching the C1 race last time in Rio, I had gone through that summer and was on the form of my life and thinking to myself how I am not in the Olympic games?

“I’m flying right now. I’m one of the world’s ten best canoeists, but not qualifying was really frustrating to deal with but I’m going to do absolutely everything to try to make sure that spot is mine next year.”

In the single events, the 26-year-old made it through to the semi-finals alongside all his fellow GB teammates, but again penalties set him back to an 18th place finish and failing to reach the final along with teammate and close friend Ryan Westley who went on to capture a silver medal.

“My style and pace was bang on and think I would have probably would have been around 5th or 6th to get into the final but the two penalties I picked up shot me right down the pecking order.”

“I have been paddling really well past few days and had a really good feeling during the build-up so It’s a very tough one to take and I was absolute gutted when I crossed the finish line.”

Burgess has achieved silver and bronze medals in both team and individual events at senior level since 2011, but feels consistency and his new change of philosophy will be the key to his success of finally securing his first gold medal.

“I pretty much made every final in 2016 and had some injury setbacks in 2017 but lost my consistency and this year I need to back that consistency I found in 2016 as I feel I could be in every final and win multiple medals now.”

“I have recently had a change around with my philosophy and it has really changed my approach to the sport and life.

“The philosophy has got a name it’s called meraki it’s a Greek name and had a really good block of training in this style and think it’s going to be my edge next year.”


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