A Leighton Buzzard canoeist is on track to realize his ambition to represent Great Britain at the 2024 Olympics and be crowned world champion.
With an impressive track record in a sport he played at the age of nine, Linslade-based Charlie Smith, 22, has already drawn up an action plan to bolster his bid for a place in the UK squad. . conquer the world in Paris.
Whether paddling along sections of the Grand Union Canal or competing in major competitions across Europe, Charlie is currently the country’s most successful under-23 canoe sprinter, with victories. also on older and more experienced rivals in senior competitions.
Finalist of the former world junior marathon and European sprint championships and top 10 of the U23 world sprint and European K2 1000 championships, Charlie this year won the GB 1000 K1 and 1000 K2 Senior events and was qualified for the semi-finals. in European and world Olympic competitions.
Based in Nottingham near GB Canoe’s home at Holme Pierrepont and a graduate of the city’s university with a degree in industrial economics, the Aylesbury High School alumnus Charlie concluded his 2021 program with three World Championships, finishing 4th in the U23 Kl marathon in Romania, 8th in the Senior sprint in Copenhagen and 5th in the K4 500 and 10th in the K1 1000 in Portugal.
His successes so far have been based on a grueling twice-a-day six-day-a-week training program, covering approximately 180 km (112 miles), followed by physical therapy and conditioning sessions, primarily at Holme Pierrepont.
Now Charlie, who was also recently named the Leighton-Linslade Sports Council‘s “Achiever in Sport” for his canoeing exploits, is focusing on improving his performance with a strength and power program that he will launch after a brief festive break with parents. Cyd and Mark and their partner and fellow canoeist Samantha at her home on Rothschild Road, a short walk from the Grand Union Canal where her canoe trip began.
Charlie says: “Further progress next year is crucial, as the team selection for the Olympics will be made in 2023. I have pretty much honed my canoeing skills over the past 13 years or so… he now is the time to focus on the physical aspects to add. strength, power and durability come together for the difficult task ahead. This means that in addition to working with the canoe, I will be spending more time in the gym.