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Canoeing: New Zealand's Fouhy explodes one last time
August 6, 2012 / 1:50 PM / 5 years ago

Canoeing: New Zealand's Fouhy explodes one last time

DORNEY, England (Reuters) - New Zealand’s outspoken kayaker Ben Fouhy ended his career with one final explosion on Monday, a foul-mouthed rant aimed at his country and its canoeing system after he crashed out of the London 2012 Games.

New Zealand's Ben Fouhy competes in the men's kayak single (K1) 1000m heat at the Eton Dorney during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 6, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside

Known almost as much for his ability to pick a fight as his kayaking prowess, Fouhy castigated the Sport New Zealand body for what he described as a lack of support coming into the Games.

“It stings a little, finishing your career like this but I held a world record for five years and I’ve been a world champion,” he told reporters after coming sixth out of eight in the men’s 1,000 meter kayak single semi-final, more than four seconds behind the winner.

“You have a lot of detractors out there who like to kick you when you’re down, but that’s New Zealand for you. When I won the world title I’d spent all my savings and I was 10 grand in debt. They don’t seem to mind that when you’re winning but when you’re not winning, all of a sudden you’re a moaner.”

World champion in 2003, the 33-year-old won a silver medal in Athens and finished fourth in Beijing, but his career has been marked by clashes with sporting bodies over a range of issues from funding, coaching and the level of control he has over his own career.

He has quit twice before.

“They don’t want to know when the chips are down,” he said. “You get used as a political pawn.”

Reporting by Kate Holton, editing by Ed Osmond

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