Florence rules out retirement as partner Hounslow looks for silver lining
RIO DE JANEIRO - David FLORENCE (GBR) dismissed all talk of retirement after becoming the first canoe slalom paddler to win three Olympic Games silver medals on Thursday.
FLORENCE, 34, and Richard HOUNSLOW (GBR) repeated their second-place finish from the London 2012 Olympic Games as Slovak cousins Peter SKANTAR (SVK) and Ladislav SKANTAR (SVK) claimed gold in what could be the final running of the men's C2 event at an Olympics.
"I am still loving canoeing," FLORENCE said. "It's a shame that it looks likely C2 will be not with us in the next Olympics but I am keen to keep paddling, I'm not about to retire and I love training."
The silver medal for FLORENCE helped ease the pain of his 10th-place finish in the individual event on Tuesday.
"I've been a bit disappointed the past couple of days since the C1 if I'm completely honest, so I just wanted to come here today and enjoy it and really go gate-to-gate and try to put in the best we could," FLORENCE said.
FLORENCE learnt to speak Mandarin prior to winning silver in the C1 at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and delivered an answer in Portuguese at the post-event media conference at Whitewater Stadium on Thursday. Although he would not commit to launching a fourth bid for the elusive Olympic Games gold medal, few would bet against the Aberdeen-born paddler beginning to learn Japanese in the run-up to Tokyo 2020.
"I love the sport and obviously it is a long, long way away at the minute and it's a massive challenge just to get to any Olympics," FLORENCE said.
HOUNSLOW commended the work ethic of FLORENCE, who will be 38 by the time of the next Games.
"He's an absolute workhorse. He works me into the ground day in, day out. We have trained so hard for this and that's three silvers for David now and two for me," HOUNSLOW said.
HOUNSLOW was ready to pursue an army career after missing out on qualification for Beijing 2008, but a knee injury meant he deferred his entrance into the Sandhurst Military Academy and partnered with FLORENCE instead. That partnership yielded silver at London 2012 and Rio 2016, but looked to have run its final race on Thursday.
"With the potential dropping of C2 from the programme for 2020 I guess in terms of C2 that's it for me," HOUNSLOW, 34, said. "So I'll go away for a bit and have a think about what I'm going to do. At the moment I just want to relax and enjoy the moment."