Kimberley claims gold

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Kimberley Woods from Rugby is the 2012 European Junior Champion in the women’s C1 class.

She also won a K1W silver medal as she competed at the ECA Canoe Slalom European Junior & U23 Championships at Solkan in Slovenia.

The event is held on the Soča River where it falls over the “old dam of Solkan” just before it cosses the border into Italy.

Kimberley’s event programme consisted of qualification heats for C1W classes on Thursday afternoon followed by the K1W on the Friday morning. The semi-finals of the C1 & K1 classes were on the Saturday morning with the finals on the Sunday morning followed by the team events in the afternoon. Unfortunately the K1W and C1W final were only 40 minutes apart, giving little time to change the race plan in the head for the different classes. The K1W and C1W team Finals on the Sunday had the same interval apart.

Kimberley along with her junior team mates all qualified for the semi-finals with Mallory Franklin in first place, Kimberley in fourth and Eilidh Gibson ninth in the C1W category.

Kimberley paddled exceptionally in the semi-finals coming first in the C1W category followed by Franklin in third place and Gibson in eighth place - all qualifying for the final.

Kimberley and Mallory are two of the very few women athletes competing in both categories - the pair also represent GB at senior team level in the women’s Canadian category.

In the K1W category Kimberley was of top form again coming third, unfortunately her team mates just missed the final with Franklin in joint 11th place and Alice Haining 16th.

In the C1W final Kimberley found that bit extra, achieving her first clean run of the season to win gold by over 2 seconds and with it the 2012 European Junior Championship in Women’s C1, an excellent result for Kimberley. Franklin came second, making it a GB one-two.

Kimberley was again in top form in the K1W category coming second to take the silver medal behind Karolina Galuskova from the Czech Republic with Viktoria Wolffhardt from Austria third.