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‘It’s been tough to focus’: McGrath’s mind on Afghanistan after Taliban takeover

McGrath, however, wasn’t able to progress directly to Saturday’s KL2 final but is confident his aspirations of another gold medal remain intact.

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“In the VL3, again, [I had] a bit of an issue staying in the centre of my lane,” McGrath said. “I kinda ran into the blocks at the end there but that’s past the finish line and in my mind that’s out of play. No issues.

“It’s tough. These boats don’t have rudders. You’ve got to manipulate them, especially when there’s a bit of a breeze out here. Some of the rules maybe need to be talked about, in terms of keeping it in your lane, rather than in the middle of your lane.”

“That was a really tough race, almost finals like. [Great Britain athlete] Stuart Wood on the inside of me is a tough competitor and it’s really great to be able to race internationally again. I could see out of the corner of my eye I was a little bit ahead. The goal is to not do too many changes with my style of paddling. I had a bit of calculated risk and allowed the boat to drift right at the end there.”

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