David Florence has high hopes for world title defences

David Florence in action during the Canoe Single (C1) men at Lee Valley White Water Centre in London
David Florence in action during the Canoe Single (C1) men at Lee Valley White Water Centre in London

David Florence believes he is at the height of his powers as he prepares to defend his at the Canoe Slalom World Championships.

The Scot, who won C1 silver at the 2008 Olympics and C2 silver at London 2012, is in fine form as he looks to repeat his 2013 Prague wins in Maryland.

"It's been a pretty good season," Florence, 32, told BBC Sport.

"I always like to do better, but to at the World Cup was fantastic - a real highlight."

The former world number one, 35-year-old Slovakian Michal Martikan, will again be Florence's main challenger for gold in Deep Creek as the championships start on Wednesday.

"I maintained the world number one status, which is always great, and finished second in the World Cup series overall, just behind Michal Martikan, the legend still going strong," said Florence.

"From the World Cup at the end of last season up to the World Championships this season, I've probably won more regular medals and been right up there in more races.

"It's a sport where not many people manage to win every race, but to get three World Cup medals in the season has been really good."

Florence and Englishman Richard Hounslow, who won silver at the 2012 Olympics in London, will also go into the C2 event with high hopes.

"We've got our world ranking up to number three," said Florence. "At the last race of the year, we had a good run at the World Cup final and picked up a medal there and things seem to going well into the lead up to the worlds."

Florence admits that competing in two disciplines is not easy.

David Florence
Florence has won gold at World and European Championships, plus silver at two Olympics

"It is a skill sport essentially and skill is what separates the top guys in the world," he said.

"They are different skills and it's difficult to combine the training and then, of course, on race days you've got more runs to do and more physicality throughout the championships.

"But, at the same time, it gives you added motivation. it is exciting to be doing more than one category and especially to be doing well in more than one.

"And sometimes you might know that course that little bit better if you've had more than one individual when it comes to the C2."

Florence believes the course in the United States will prevent a level playing field for all competitors.

"I've never competed at Deep Creek before," he said. "It's a new venue for almost everyone.

"We've had a week or two training there, which was really good value because there are some tricky sections on the course.

"It's a fun place to paddle and it will be exciting to go somewhere that's not one of these venues where you've got a strong nation who've trained there for years and years because not even the Americans are based there.

"It's shut down in the winter as it's a ski resort in the winter and it's up the top of a mountain."

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