BRADFORD on Avon paddler Hannah Brown was left with a bittersweet feeling after claiming fourth at the Sprint European Championships.

Brown teamed up with Angela Hannah to form Great Britain’s K2 pairing last weekend and the duo were just 0.10 seconds away from claiming a medal in the 200m at the championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

While Brown sees there is still room for improvement, she admits it was frustrating to come so close to finishing on the podium.

“The competition went to plan, as we were sort of using it as a stepping stone leading up to the world championships in August,” said Brown.

“We didn’t totally come off the gas in training, we were just heading there for experience and to see where we were and what we needed to improve on.

“So to come within touching distance of a medal in the 200m was really promising for us moving forward.

“It is slightly frustrating and it is a hard one because you’re really pleased to be there racing, but it is a hard place to finish.”

With the World Championships next month in Racice in the Czech Republic, Brown says the Bulgarian competition was a useful measuring stick to see how the duo have done since linking up in February.

With a clear set of improvements to make, she is looking forward to the run in over the coming weeks.

Now the 27-year-old faces another five-week block of training between then and the Championships, where the pair are set to test themselves once again.

“It’s really useful for us to go and measure ourselves against the best in Europe, so we can see what aspects we need to focus on,” added Brown. “Now we will be fine-tuning before the championships and spending a lot of time together running up to it.

“We have got the next five weeks planned out, so trying to find our maximum speed and our pace for 500m is the two main focuses.

“We would love to target the podium in the 200m that is the primary aim for us.

“We have been looking to build throughout the season, with each block of training stepping up a gear.

“The Europeans were a step up from the World Cup and we are confident we can keep on progressing.

“At the end of the day, it is a four-year plan, it is all stepping stones but we are pretty confident we can make another leap.”