World silver medal for Sawley kayaker Jon

Silver lining: Liam Heath (left) and Sawley's Jon Schofield on the podium after winning World Championship silver in Duisburg at the weekend
Silver lining: Liam Heath (left) and Sawley's Jon Schofield on the podium after winning World Championship silver in Duisburg at the weekend
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Sawley’s Jon Schofield and sprint partner Liam Heath put their European Championship woes behind them to land a silver medal on the world stage.

The three-time European kings forfeited their crown when missing out on a podium finish for the first time in 18 competitive races when falling in to fourth in Portugal in June.

But the pair responded admirably to put the pressure back on dominant Russian pairing Yury Postrygay and Alexander Dyachenko as they finished just behind the Herculean paddlers at the World Championships held in Duisburg, Germany.

The result has once again endorsed the K2 200m duo’s standing as one of the most competitive and consistent crews on the globe. Now the task is to continue closing the gap on the Olympic gold medalists.

Great Britain’s representatives eased in to the semi-final of the competition with a comfortable triumph in the second heat on Friday. Just 24 hours later they pushed their Russian opponents all the way to the finish line, though they were beaten by just over two hundredth of a second.

That aperture widened slightly in the final, but their performance still merited a silver as they beat German rivals Ronald Rauhe and Jonas Ems in to third.

“It certainly feels like we are getting closer to them and we are absolutely delighted to come away with the silver medal,” said Schofield.

“We’ve made some improvements this year and since the Europeans nine weeks ago we have put in a really good block of training where we really pushed hard and it’s paid dividends.

“This is way up there with our best and it means we are second in the world at the moment, which is the highest we have ever been.

“It matches our silver medal from 2011 and the field is getting even harder every single time so to stay on top with the quality of the competition is pretty special.”

GB Canoeing performance director, John Anderson MBE, added: “Medals haven’t come easily to any nation this year and this was an outstanding medal for Liam and Jon.

“I’m delighted for them both and they finished a lot closer to the Russians than they did in London last summer.”