Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Tim Brabants retires from international competition

This entry should have been devoted to the Nottingham British National Regatta, which officially started the sprint calendar in the islands to select the international team that will represent GB in the European and World Championships. Nothing out of the ordinary, with K1 200 Men for favorite McKeever, while Rachel Cawthorn won the Women 200 and Jonathan Boyton (in the absence of Paul Wycherley for a shoulder injury) was the one this time disputed the 1,000 to Tim Brabants, relegating him to the silver medal.

If you have the holy patience to go looking at the results of the 300 races, here it is the resulting pdf madness.

However, on Monday some breaking news eclipsed everything else when Tim Brabants announced its retirement from the high level competition. Despite having met the criteria to join the national team this year, Brabants took the difficult decision at the prospect that reached his age (36 years old) he has passed his best moment and is unlikely to improve his level, so he doesn't want to close doors to new paddlers who will now have the opportunity to get experienced in the national team and be eligible in the future to achieve the success he has already achieved.

Brabants will now practice his profession, doctor, where he hopes to get specialized in emergency care.

This first step out of the competition will be spent in Cape Town (South Africa), his wife's hometown and where he has spent long periods of training in recent years in the southern summer. Anyway, he aims not to be completely out of contact with canoeing and maybe in a year it's time to consider a career that can combine his profession in medicine and his passion for canoeing.

At age 18, Brabants was a tall, smily guy who debuted internationally at the World Championships in Duisburg 1995. But he was doing Marathon at the same time and already in 1997 he became silver medalist at the Euro Champs in Italy. Just one year later, at the World Championships in Cape Town, he also stepped into the K2 podium to get again a silver medal. In 1999 he became fix in the national sprint team getting the spot for the Olympics in Sydney 2000, replacing Ivan Lawler, who until then had been the best British exponent in the K1 1,000.

Not having enough with that, Brabants claimed at Sydney the bronze medal, first in history for the British Canoe Union. There he began a successful career that led him to become European, World and Olympic champion. In memory of all of us will always be the 1,000 final in Beijing 2008, where he led the race end to end to get the first Olympic gold for Great Britain in its history, adding soon a new bronze in the 500 meters. These successes led him in 2009 to receive the gold medal of the British Empire (MBE).

Let's leave here this video to honor him and say thanks for everything he has given us and made us enjoy. And, of course, our best wishes for the future.


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