RUGBY’S Kimberley Woods from Rugby was competing at the ECA Canoe Slalom European Junior Championships at Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
A new location for the event, it is a natural course in the Tijesno canyon on the Vrbas River and temperatures reached 43°C at its peak.
Unfortunately the K1W and C1W final were only 40 minutes apart, with the same interval on the Sunday for the team finals.
Kimberley competed in the C1W category heats on the Thursday achieving 3rd place.
This was followed by the K1W category heats on the Friday where Kimberley came 10th, only 4 seconds off 1st place.
Then came the C1Team semi-final where the team of Kimberley Woods, Mallory Franklin and Jasmine Royle came 1st. It was then the turn of the K1W team semi-finals where Kimberley and Mallory, joined by Beth Latham came 5th.
On the Saturday it was the semi-finals and finals of the C1W and K1W Classes which consisted of one run on a new course.
Kimberley put in a stunning run to come 2nd in the K1, only 1 second off Karolina Galuskovo from the Czech Republic in 1st place. In the semi finals of the C1W category Kimberley also came 2nd.
In the K1W final Kimberley came in 7th place, an excellent result for Kimberley’s first European championship. Unfortunately the C1W final was only 40 minutes after the K1W final so the GB coach laid on a car to get Kimberley back to the start in time for her run, but it left little time to do a course review, mental preparation and warm up, to say nothing of getting some rest between runs.
Kimberley had made up time on the first section of run but made a mistake on gate 17 that dropped her down the order finishing in 5th place.
On the Sunday it was the turn of the C1W and K1W team finals again run at 40 minute intervals. In the K1W the Great Britain team improved their position narrowly missing 2nd place and winning the bronze medal. The C1W team although making several errors still managed to get 1st place.
It was a good event for the Great Britain team with 24 from 29 boats qualifying for the semi-finals and 15 making the finals.
In the team events seven teams qualified for the finals of which five came in the top three places.