Challenges aplenty wait for globetrotting Woods

Pictue by Balint Vekassy
Pictue by Balint Vekassy

Canoeing star Kimberley Woods struck gold in Australia and is looking forward to a busy season.

Selected to compete for Great Britain’s Under-23s at K1 (kayak) in the world championships in Australia, the team were crowned champions.

Woods was 16th in the individual event – a creditable performance by the 18-year-old in her first year at this age group.

The Rugby College student spent three weeks down under and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“It came just nine days after the selection races at Lee Valley in London at the end of March,” explained Kimberley, who has been nominated in the top 10 for the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year for the past two years.

“I’d been ill with tonsilitis the week before, so the selection weekend really didn’t go to plan.

“Although I was pleased to make the under-23s K1 team, despite being ill, I am only reserve for the C1 seniors and Under-23s this year.

“But nine days later we were off to Penrith in Australia and our team won the only gold for Great Britain.”

Woods was disappointed not to have been selected for the Senior World Championships in America in September.

But she is hoping to put that right in 2015 when the senior championships will be held in London and the under-23s in Rio.

Woods’ season in the National Premier Division had begun well.

“I’d actually won my first three races in C1, which had left me feeling pretty confident that I would be selected,” she explained.

“I’m really enjoying my canoeing this year.

“I was down after losing out on selection but 
I’ve picked myself up and going to Australia definitely helped.”

She was also English champion in both boats in a Pan Celtic race at Holme Pierrepoint where she does most of her training.

“When I came back from Australia I hadn’t been in a C1 for a month, but I still finished well ahead of the field there, which was good,” she added.

Woods was due to be taking part in demonstration races at the first Canoe Slalom World Cup meeting at Lee Valley at the weekend, then competing in Slovenia and Prague over the next two weekends .

She will have just two days at home before flying out to the Under-23 European Championships in Macedonia.