LONDON 2012: Foreign paddlers upstage home hopes at slalom canoe test event
GREAT Britain's slalom canoeists are working hard to learn every nook and cranny of the foaming torrents of their new home.
VENUE: Opened in April, the Lee Valley White Water Centre staged its official Olympic test event this weekend with home hopes failing to medal (Getty Images)
Since the Lee Valley White Water Centre was opened three months ago, they've spent every spare moment careering down its man made rapids with the hope of turning home advantage into Olympic medals next summer.
But the rest of the world underlined they might just be party poopers in 2012 with some impressive results at the official Olympic test event.
British European bronze medallist Lizzie Neave was fourth in the women's K1 while Olympic silver medallist David Florence settled for sixth in the men's C1.
Cameron Walsh, a silver medallist at the 2004 Olympics, failed to progress beyond the semi-finals of the men's K1 while Richard Hounslow finished fifth.
Hounslow then combined with Florence in the C2 and despite thinking they'd won a bronze, Germany successfully appealed against a 50-second penalty to claim third spot on the podium.
But, according to GB canoeing chief John Anderson, now is the time for near misses in a sport were fractions are key and margins between success and failure slender.
"This has been a big event for some nations because they've been using it for Olympic selection but we've only just come back from solid training," he said.
"We've put some really quick times down the course but we've suffered a couple of time penalties."
Great Britain will only have one selection per event next year with September's World Championships in Bratislava the first phase of qualification.
Anderson will also hold closed trials on the course in April in a bid to get the strongest possible team for the Games.
"I think we've been a bit surprised by some of the results that the foreign guys have achieved after just a week of training on the course. They've been very impressive," admitted Walsh.
"We probably expected to do a bit better but there is time."
Meanwhile, organisers Locog declared themselves satisfied with the test event, which studied issues such as the flow of the water, timing and scoring systems.
“This is a fantastic venue,” said Locog's head of sport competition David Luckes.
"It is a venue that really shows legacy in action with the Centre already open to the public. This was a great opportunity for us to see the venue in use."
© Sportsbeat 2011