Douchev-Janic back in beloved kayak again after surgery

RIO DE JANEIRO - In a career that has now spanned five Olympic Games, Natasa DOUCHEV-JANIC (HUN) has made comebacks her speciality.

DOUCHEV-JANIC won two gold medals at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games and a gold and two silvers at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.

She went on to take silver in the K2 500m and bronze in the K1 200m events in London, after giving birth to her daughter Milana in September 2011.

But now DOUCHEV-JANIC is making comeback No.2 following surgery for a back injury in January 2014. Rio 2016 is her fifth Olympic Games - and she has not yet ruled out more.

"It's a question for after competition," she said, asked whether racing the K1 200m in Rio would be her swansong.

It took DOUCHEV-JANIC a year to get her fitness back after her spinal surgery in 2014.

"I saw that training is going to give me back my normal life, so I had to train," she said, revealing the first time she walked a full kilometre after surgery it took her 16 minutes and her first 2000m time trial was two minutes slower than her best.

She added that she did not want the injury to end her career, saying: "I don't want to finish just because something stops me."

For DOUCHEV-JANIC, kayaking is most certainly her normal life. Her father Milan JANIC (YUG) won silver in the K1 1000m at Los Angeles 1984 and both her brothers competed internationally too.

She is keeping her hopes for Rio close to her chest.

"Only God knows what will happen on the 16 (August)," she said. "I just want to race. I'm really feeling that every day I'm getting better and better. I think now I'm in good form."

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