Stott verges on Olympics

Viking Kayak Club star closing in on Beijing after storming through Nottingham

Viking Kayak Club star Etienne Stott is on the verge of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics after some storming performances in the UK selection races in Nottingham with his partner Tim Baillie.

The 28-year-old Bedfordian and former Biddenham Upper School pupil sealed victory despite a disaster in the first race when Baillie's spraydeck came off during their run, costing them a disastrous 10 seconds.

They battled back to the silver medal position in that race, but the mishap meant the selection race went on until the final event at Nottingham.

The duo's performance at the National Watersports Centre, which secured their ranking as the number one C2 – two-man canoe – boat in the UK, moved them closer to the prize of a ticket to China.

Their final hurdle is the upcoming European Championships in Krakow, Poland, which takes place next month, where a top two finish from the four competing countries will see them qualify for Beijing.

Stott, who has competed for the Viking club since he was 12 and has been in the British squad since the junior level, and Baillie, are also ranked number two in the World Series tables following a silver medal performance at the Australian Open in January.

Meanwhile, the 56th running of the Bedford Marathon takes place this coming Sunday with the event including K2 (kayak) and C2 (Canoe) World Cup qualification races.

Hosted by Viking Kayak Club, the event will see races in a variety of disciplines ranging from children's races to long distance higher division contests.

All races start and finish at the club's Batts Ford clubhouse and go up and down river as far as Queens Park and Cardington.

Racing gets underway at 11am with the prize giving expected to take place at 3pm.