Modest canoeist ready for gold

THERE must be something special in that northern beaches water that keeps turning out international athletes.

Latest athlete to follow in the wake of Emma Moffatt and Cadel Evans is Sandy Beach canoeist Marius ‘Cristi' Florian who this week began a campaign which could take him to the London Olympics.

A member of the Australian team, Florian is taking part in the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Szeged, Hungary.

He will compete in the C1 500, 1000 and 5000 events.

Before leaving with the squad, he spoke with The Coffs Coast Advocate and revealed he was actually very humble about receiving any credit for his achievements.

“I am one of those sporting people who don't enjoy the limelight,” he said.

“While I am honoured to have been chosen for the team, I am wary of building up my hopes too much in case the championships don't go as I hope.

“However, I am going to really give it my best shot and if things eventually turn out well, then you can talk about me all you like.”

Despite his shyness, Florian has been able to build an impressive resume.

A silver scholarship holder with the NSW Institute of Sport, he has spent the past year working in the national AIS ‘developing international' program.

After arriving in Europe at the beginning of the month, the Australian team has undergone a gruelling training schedule with some already competitive in World Cup slalom events.

The world titles began on Tuesday with Paracanoe events.

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