Silver for Miles at the European Championships

Philip Miles in European action. Picture submitted
Philip Miles in European action. Picture submitted

Royal Leamington Spa Canoe Club’s Philip Miles picked up a fine silver for Great Britain at the European Junior and Under-23 Canoe Sprint Championships in Racice, Czech Republic.

Racing in the K1 junior men’s 1,000m, Miles narrowly missed out on automatic qualification to the A final in his heat, coming a close second to eventual gold medallist Magnus Sibbersen from Denmark.

However, the 17-year-old then went on to comfortably win one of the semi-finals to gain a spot in the A final.

The final was an exciting affair with Miles holding a place in midfield for much of the race and then mounting a stunning final 150-metre effort, passing everyone in the field apart from the Dane.

He posted a personal best 3:36.7 time, finishing just half a boat length behind Sibbersen.

“It was not really my usual type of race,” said Miles. “But I knew if I was in touch towards the latter stage of the race I had a chance.

“I saved enough in the tank for one last effort and I was determined not to miss the opportunity I have been working toward for the past few years to achieve a big international medal.

“I am sure my coach and support team found the race extremely tense but both their and my efforts to prepare for this race over the past two years meant that I always felt in control.”

In his K4 500m, Miles and his crew were fourth in the B final.

For the second successive year, Royal Leamington had two members representing Great Britain, with Alex Greaves and his crew partner Zak Benstead (Elmbridge) ninth in the B final of the junior men’s K2 1,000m.