CANOEING: Another good weekend for Kimberley

Kimberley Woods at Lee Valley
Kimberley Woods at Lee Valley

Rugby racer pre-selected for Great Britain team

Canoe Slalom Premier Race 3 & 4 and U23 GB Team Selection at the Lea Valley Olympic Slalom Course

Kimberley Woods from Rugby was racing at Lee Valley White Water centre last weekend. This is the iconic venue that hosted the 2012 Olympic Games. The events held over the weekend were two National Premier Division races combined with the under 23 Great Britain team selection event.

The premier races were a standard format race with the best of two runs deciding the winner, whereas the GB Selection used the first Premier race results as race one and both legs of race two as races 2 & 3 to decide who would be in the U23 GB team representing GB in the world championships in Krakow, Poland and the European championships in Solkan, Slovenia.

Kimberley had been pre-selected for the GB team in both classes based on her performance in the senior World Championships in 2015 but still raced at the event as it was a double Premier Division race.

The course designers presented athletes with two challenging courses over the weekend, designed with fast racing in mind which produced very competitive racing across all classes.

On the Saturday Kimberley in the Kayak Class set a fast time on the first run good enough for 3rd place. On her second run she managed a faster time and improved her position to second place behind Fiona Penny, the competitor racing for GB at the Rio Olympics and would have been first boat in the Under 23 selection series demonstration her dominance in the class. In The Canadian class she again was in excellent form winning the event.

Sunday saw Kimberley setting the pace in the Canadian class, leading the field by over 8 seconds after the first run. On the second run she missed a stroke and lost time realigning the boat and dropped into second place.

In the Kayak she had a good first run, coming 3rd overall but on the second run the wind gusted as she approached the last two gates blowing the penultimate gate into her and making the last gate almost impossible to negotiate, losing valuable time and gaining time penalties, dropping to 4th place overall behind her training partner Mallory Franklin, who will be joining Kimberley on the GB Team in the Kayak class.