Brabants still looking for double glory at London 2012
OLYMPIC gold medallist and medicine-man Tim Brabants insists his quest for double gold is back on track as he bids to add to his haul at London 2012.
DOUBLING UP: Tim Brabants has found a way to go for double gold at London 2012 despite changes to the Olympic schedule
The 34-year-old, who became the first British kayaker to claim Olympic gold in 2008, returned to the hustle and bustle of Queen's Medical Centre in Nottingham post Beijing but last summer was back in his canoe like he'd never been away, scooping World Championships silver.
Brabants returned to an altered canoe landscape, however, and while his favoured event, the K-1 1000m, is still on the Olympic schedule for London 2012, the 500m - the discipline in which he bagged Beijing bronze - is not.
Great Britain have benefited from the decision as the 200m has been added as a replacement and Ed McKeever is currently ruling the roost in that splash and dash event.
But that has meant that Brabants has resigned himself to putting all his eggs in the individual 1000m basket - that was until the 2007 world champion forced his way into the K-4 1000m team.
And while Brabants, who underwent shoulder surgery in November, didn't exactly set the world alight at the first World Cup of the season in Poland - he's convinced he can book two London 2012 spots at this summer's World Championships are in Hungary.
"I have just got back from Poland from the first World Cup of the year and I am pleased with how it all went," said Brabants, who didn't reach the final in the K-1 event and finished eighth alongside Ben Farrell, Paul Wycherley and Andrew Daniels in the K-4 competition in Poland.
"Obviously I know I need to get faster and there are improvements to be made but I am confident that will happen and it will all come together.
"I get stronger and faster as the year goes on and the big race for us this year is the World Championships in Hungary in August where we can qualify for the Olympics.
"For the Olympics we need to qualify for as many places as possible so I am competing in the single and the four-man crew this year to try and strengthen the four-man crew because the 2012 schedule allows for me to do both.
"We are putting all our energy into it at the minute and if it all goes well and according to plan, which I am confident it will do, then we will qualify another boat for London 2012.
"If I am in the K-4 boat come London 2012, then I will have two chances of winning gold at London 2012 but my main target is to retain my singles title from Beijing."
Brabants has never been one to put his feet up in mid-Olympic years - and he has been busier than most lately, becoming a father for the first time in January to a girl called Jules, while juggling his preparations for his London 2012 swansong.
"Although I have been combining a medical career with my sporting career for some time, I am not complaining and I think everything has worked out really well for me," said Brabants, who has joined Rebecca Adlington and Shanaze Reade as a Cadbury Athlete Ambassador.
"In fact, I think you can actually achieve more if you strike up a decent balance between a few things because that keeps you fresh and interested in what you are doing, while also giving you a bit of an escape at the same time.
"And I just had my first child in January, a daughter called Jules, and that obviously adds to it all but is great.
"I am getting older and I have my career almost organised, my sport is going well and it is nice now to be able to start a family and maybe a future Olympian, who knows."
As part of his role as an Athlete Ambassador for Cadbury's London 2012 programme, Tim will be encouraging and inspiring employees taking part in a wide range of volunteering opportunities
© Sportsbeat 2011