Tokyo Olympics: Liam Heath wins bronze for Britain in K1 200m after recovering from slow start

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Liam Heath in action in Tokyo on Thursday (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
Liam Heath in action in Tokyo on Thursday (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Great Britain’s Liam Heath won a bronze medal in the men’s K1 200m at Sea Forest Waterway.

The 36-year-old defending Olympic champion clocked 35.202 seconds to finish third behind Hungary’s Sandor Totka, with Italian Manfredi Rizza taking silver.

Heath, who set an Olympic-best time of 33.985 seconds during Wednesday’s qualifying, took second in the opening semi-final to set up his medal assault.

And while he could not make it successive golds, it was Guildford-based Heath’s fourth Olympic medal following previous K2 sprint success at the Rio Games and London 2012.

Drawn in lane three, Heath delivered a consistent performance, but could not quite threaten the top two.

Totka and Rizza were separated by just 45-hundredths of a second, with Heath leading the charge behind them.

Liam Heath after winning bronze at Tokyo 2020 (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)
Liam Heath after winning bronze at Tokyo 2020 (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Wire)

Speaking to the BBC Heath said: “It’s hard to put into words, it’s what you’re working towards, to be at your best for these events and I’ve learned so much along my journey.

“You learn more about yourself, your competitors and the people you work with day in, day out. It’s them working tirelessly behind the scenes which provides the support for me to be able to achieve my dreams.

“A massive thanks to everybody that’s watching at home. Not quite the gold, but I’m happy with my performance so I hope you guys can be happy too.”

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