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My fantastic day watching Team GB canoe stars achieve Olympic history

17:13 03 August 2012

Great Britain

Great Britain's Tim Baille and Elienne Stott receive their gold medals in the mens canoe double final

TWENTY-FOUR hours previous, 12-year-old DAN FORD’S hopes of going to the London Olympics were merely a pipe-dream. The very next day, he was witnessing Games history after Team GB won an amazing gold and silver in the two-man canoe slalom. Here is his story.

“My mum (Lisa) spent hours on the computer on Wednesday night trying to get Olympic tickets for the next day. Canoeing may not have been our first choice, but we were still delighted when, at about 1.30am, we learned that we would be going to the Games.

Five hours later, we were setting off for Leigh Valley to watch history in the making – though we had little hint of what was to unfold.

I love all sports so I had done my research and knew that Richard Hounslow and David Florence had a chance of getting a medal while Etienne Stott and Tim Baillie who were thought to be less likely.

We witnessed the semi-finals and then the final came. Stott and Baillie went first and posted a great time and in typical patriotic fashion, every time an opponent hit a gate the majority of the crowd cheered.

The noise from the 16,000 crowd was just deafening but when the second-from-last canoeist wasn’t able to beat the Team GB pair, the whispers in the crowd started. We had won!

There was just one pair left, Hounslow and Florence, and it was a fantastic finish as they nearly won the gold, but had to settle for a superb silver.

We then saw the ceremony and listened to the national anthem to end an amazing day.”

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