CANOEING: Three medals for Kimberley Woods at World Under 23s Championships in Bratislava

Team gold for Great Britain in the C1W at the World Under 23 Championships in Slovakia. Mallory Franklin,  Eilidh Gibson and Rugbys Kimberley Woods
Team gold for Great Britain in the C1W at the World Under 23 Championships in Slovakia. Mallory Franklin, Eilidh Gibson and Rugbys Kimberley Woods

Rugby’s canoe star now on GB training camp preparing for senior Worlds in September

Under 23 Canoe Slalom World Championships 2017

Kimberley Woods returned with gold, silver and bronze medals from the Under 23 Canoe Slalom World Championships held at Bratislava in Slovakia.

The Rugby Canoe Club star competed in both the Canadian (C1W) and Kayak (K1W) disciplines at the event.

It is the first time the former Rugby College student has been to this race site as it has been off the slalom calendar for several years.

In the C1W qualification event on the Wednesday to qualify for the next round, Kimberley was in form taking third place going into the semi-final.

Again, in the semi-final Kimberley stepped up a gear and produced a fast, solid run moving up to second place.

In the final Kimberley improved her time by three seconds but it was only good enough for third place, taking the bronze medal behind her team mate Mallory Franklin who found the extra time, some 10 seconds quicker then her qualification time, to win gold. Tereza Fiserova from the Czech Republic was in second place.

In the C1W team event on the Sunday Kimberley, Mallory Franklin and Eilidh Gibson put in a well-coordinated run which lifted them into first place, winning the gold medal with Spain in second place and the Czech Republic third

Kimberley - who has recently finished her final year as a sports studies student at Hertfordshire University and so is able to concentrate on canoeing full time in the build up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo - made a solid start in the qualification stages of the K1W event coming in seventh place.

The semi-final course presented many difficult sections with Kimberley just making the final in 10th place, the only GB paddler to qualify.

Half way through her final run Kimberley missed a critical move and paddled behind the gate and negotiated it from the opposite direction which cost her extra time, only managing seventh place.

In the K1W Team event Kimberley with Mallory Franklin and newcomer to the team Gabrielle Ridge, doing some well-coordinated the moves, came in second place taking the silver behind the Czech Republic with Australia coming third.

Kimberley is now off to Pau in the South of France for a GB Team training camp in preparation for the world championships being held there in September.