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Canoe Marathon World Masters Championships: Bishop's Stortford Canoe Club's Chris Sze claims Great Britain medal after helping to transport team's 28 boats to Romania



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Chris Sze claimed one of Great Britain's two medals at the Canoe Marathon World Masters Championships – and helped transport the team's 28 boats to Romania and back.

The Bishop's Stortford Canoe Club member claimed silver when he partnered South African paddler Colin Simpkins in the doubles kayak race for men aged 60 to 64 in Bascov.

And he was one of the two drivers responsible for transporting the GB squad's 28 boats a total of 3,500 miles across Europe and back to attend the competition.

Chris Sze, left, and Colin Simpkins. Picture: Sandy Yonley (52230744)
Chris Sze, left, and Colin Simpkins. Picture: Sandy Yonley (52230744)

Sze is a life-long paddler having begun kayaking in Hong Kong at the age of 15. He was coach of the Hong Kong team at the first World Marathon Championships, held in Nottingham in 1988.

After retiring in Hong Kong, he moved to join his family in Bishop's Stortford in 2015 and now paddles for BSCC in Division Four.

He is a firm believer in active ageing and his philosophy is "to add life to years, but not adding years to life".

Chris Sze and Colin Simpkins, in the middle boat. Picture: Sandy Yonley (52230748)
Chris Sze and Colin Simpkins, in the middle boat. Picture: Sandy Yonley (52230748)

Sze gained his silver medal with Simpkins on the second day of the event by completing the 19km course, with four portages, in 1hr 34min 38sec, just 28 seconds behind the winners. He also competed the previous day in the singles event, coming 10th in 1:52.47 over 15.4km.

The Masters Championships, for competitors aged 35-plus, takes place annually alongside the main World Championships for junior and senior competitors, with both prestigious competitions being organised by the International Canoe Federation.

More than 120 masters athletes representing 29 countries took part, racing in single and double kayaks and canoes over varying distances according to age, sex and boat type.

The four masters representing Britain included Sze's Stortford clubmate Gordon Bullock, who paired up with fellow countryman Bryn Price in the men's 65-69 class K2 over 15.4km, achieving a time of 1:26.07 for fourth spot. Bullock was also fourth in the men's 65-69 K1 in 1:29.52 over 15.4km.

Chris Sze and Colin Simpkins, left, on the podium. Picture: Chris Tatam (52230750)
Chris Sze and Colin Simpkins, left, on the podium. Picture: Chris Tatam (52230750)

The fourth member of the GB team, Chris Tatam, brought back the country's other masters medal by winning gold in the men's 70-74 K1 in 1:26.33.



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