Liam Heath wins in first World Cup race of season in Hungary

Liam Heath
Heath claimed gold and silver at the Rio Olympics

Britain's K1 200m Olympic champion Liam Heath won his first race of the season at the Canoe Sprint World Cup.

The 32-year-old recorded a time of 34.259 seconds in Szeged in Hungary, improving on the 35.197 that won gold in Rio last year.

As in Brazil, Frenchman Maxime Beaumont was second, pipped on the line by Heath with 0.05 seconds between them.

Jon Schofield, Heath's partner and fellow Rio Olympic silver medallist in the K2 200m, finished ninth in 36.213.

The pair have been forced to focus on the single kayak event, since the K2 200m has been dropped from the Olympic programme for Tokyo 2020.

"This is a benchmark for the rest of the season for me," said Heath, from Guildford.

"The first race is the most nerve-wracking because you haven't seen each other for quite a few months, so it is good to get back on the water and see how they are doing in comparison to you."

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