World paracanoeing medallist Rob Oliver believes he’s in the strongest possible position to challenge for glory at this month’s World Championships in Szeged.

The 31-year-old – who came fifth in the KL3 classification at the 2016 Paralympic Games – won bronze at May’s European Championships and is bidding to go one better than last year’s fourth-place finish at the Worlds.

Oliver is confident he is the best shape of his career and is hoping to get redemption for a poor performance the last time he competed in Hungary at a World Cup event.

He said: “My season’s going really well so I’m really excited and looking forward to it.

“Every time I go on the water I’m going fast – everything seems to be hooking up and it’s all flowing just right at the moment.

 “Before the Rio Paralympics I was doing really well and then I dislocated my shoulder just after I had won silver at the World Championships.

“I’ve almost been rebuilding since then and I feel I’m at the same point now as I was then so that’s really positive and I’m raring to go.

“Last time I was in Szeged I completely messed up the race because I stood on some algae before getting in the boat and my feet were slipping everywhere.

“I’m looking forward to putting that right in front of what will be a big crowd in Hungary.”

Oliver explains the KL3 class – in which he will compete alongside GB team-mate Jonny Young – is very competitive, but he is confident he has established himself among its frontrunners.

“There’s a Russian athlete – Leonid Krylov – and historically we’ve tended to go back and forth, but I think I’ve put a bit of a gap between us now which is good,” he said.

“The Paralympic and world champion – Serhii Yemelianov from Ukraine – is the guy to beat and I’m just behind him now.

“Hopefully at the World Championships I can challenge him and come away with a medal.

“The main aim is to qualify the quota position for next summer’s Paralympics by finishing in the top six but I’m already looking beyond that.

“I feel with my progression over the last two years, that’s where I’m at now.”

Having had a less-than-ideal run-up to the Rio Games, Oliver admits he has one eye on Tokyo next summer.

He said: “It’s going to be tough even to qualify because of the talent pool we have in Britain, but if I continue on the trajectory I’m on, I’m confident I can do it.

“It’s a really exciting prospect – I just want to make the plane, go out there, enjoy it and smash it.”

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