CANOEING: World Cup gold perfect birthday present

Kimberley Woods
Kimberley Woods

Victory in Slovenia for Kimberley Woods

Rugby’s canoe star Kimberley Woods was back on the podium at the weekend, winning World Cup gold in the individual C1 at Tacen in Slovenia.

She also finished second overall in the 2016 ICF World Cup series behind Great Britain team mate Mallory Franklin, who took the individual bronze.

Both paddlers had not been out of the top five places in all five world cup races this season.

Former Rugby College student Kimberley, who turned 21 last Thursday, was also sixth in the individual K1, her first senior World Cup final. She finished the K1 season 11th overall.

Her C1 world cup gold was her first since 2013 when she topped the senior C1 podium at Cardiff.

The European Under 23 champion qualified third for the final where she then produced the only penalty-free run.

Her time of 85.40 seconds edged out Australia’s Jess Fox by 0.92 seconds.

“I’ve been struggling with keeping clean throughout the rounds so I’m glad I put it out in the final when I really needed to because it ended up being really close between me and Jess,” said Kimberley, who began her career with Rugby Canoe Club.

“I’ve been really consistent over the year so I’m really happy and it’s a great birthday present.

“It would have been nice to finish on the top of the overall series but I did all I could.

“It was good to have Mal on the podium with me as well and I’m happy for her to win it.”

Kimberley will be competing in the British Open this weekend and heading back to her Sports Studies at the University of Hertfordshire, close to where she trains at Lee Valley White Water Centre - the London 2012 venue, in October.