Heath is set for a busy time in Rio where he has been selected to race in both the men's K1 and K2 200m events.

However the 29-year-old and his K2 partner Jon Schofield – who won bronze at London 2012 – opted to focus on the men's K1 events at the European Championships in Moscow this weekend due to the tight schedule, allowing Heath to fine-tune his individual preparations.

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And he more than delivered, clocking 34.412 seconds to take the gold by almost half a second ahead of Sweden's Peter Menning.

"Winning gold is definitely the highlight of my season so far," said Heath who adds to his gold and bronze medals from the season's World Cups.

"It gives you a lot of confidence, not only in moving in to the last weeks of training, but also in all the training you have done leading up to this point.

"You know it has worked and you have the ability within you.

"In each race I'm building on my experience in the K1, which I haven't raced as much as I have in the K2. "Today's race went as well as a 200m race can do. I've found my strengths this season are to grip the water extremely well and really claw myself to the finishing line.

"With the experience of racing I've stepped up and started pushing towards the line which I'm really pleased about.

"We decided not to double up this time because the racing was scheduled closer together and the turnaround wouldn't have allowed us to put full effort into both boats."

Walker meanwhile was just 0.148 seconds behind race winner Lasma Liepa of Turkey in the women's K1 200m final.

She will compete in the women's K4 500m and K1 200m in Rio and admitted the podium finish had been a good confidence boost ahead of a final training block.

"It's just nice to be on the podium today," said 26 year old Walker, who finished seventh in the women's K1 200m final in the London 2012 Games.

"I'm really happy with the way I executed the race. I knew that if I got out of the start really quickly and got to 100 first then I just needed to hang on.

"It's usually the last 50 meters that I struggle with, and I've probably panicked a bit in the past, but I'm really happy with how I managed to hold onto it this time.

"I've learnt to relax and it's gives me so much more confidence that I know I can do that last part of race."

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