Junior World Championships
Rugby Canoe Club’s Kimberley Woods has just returned with a gold and two bronze medals from competing at the International Canoe Federation’s Canoe Slalom World Junior & Under 23 Championships at Wausau in Wisconsin USA in both the Canadian and Kayak disciplines of Canoe slalom.
It is only the second time the World Junior Championships have been held in the USA and 34 nations where represented
It is a natural river course running through the down town of Wausau. The air temperature was around 100F most of the time making it difficult to remain cool and retain sufficient energy to compete.
The event program consisted of 2 Qualification heats for Kayak men (K1M), Canadian 2 man (C2) and Canadian women (C1W) classes on Wednesday with the Kayak Women (K1W) and Canadian men (C1M) on the Thursday.
The 30 competitors in each discipline go through to the semi-finals that were held on the Friday. The Finals for the K1M, C2 and C1W were on Saturday morning followed. On the Sunday the K1W and C1M competed followed again by the team events
Kimberley competed in the C1W category heats on the Wednesday achieving 4th place.
She only took one run as she was well placed and certain of Qualifying for the semi-finals. Similarly Kimberley came 2nd after the first runs of the K1W on the Thursday and did not take her second run and dropped down to 6th place.
Friday was the semi-final day of the C1W and K1W Classes which consisted on 1 run on a new course.
Only 10 competitors go through to the finals. In the Semi Finals of the C1W category Kimberley came 5th. Fortunately for Kimberley the C1W and K1W semi-finals were over 1 hour, apart giving her time to recover.
Kimberley put in a solid run to come 9th in the K1, in a field that contained Jessica Fox the Australian Olympic contender and Karolina Galuskova from the Czech Republic winner on the 2011 European Championships.
In the C1W final Kimberley came in 3rd winning the bronze Medal behind Jessica Fox 1st and fellow GB paddler Malory Franklin 2nd, an excellent result for Kimberley’s first world championship race.
In the team event Kimberley, Mallory Franklin and Eilidh Gibson representing GB came 3rd taking the bronze medal.
In the K1W Final Kimberley was fast enough to get into the medals but a time penalty for touching a gate placed her in 4th place just 0.3 on a second off the bronze medal.
The race was won by Jessica Fox from Australia, 2nd Karolina Glaluskova from the check republic and 3rd Vicktoria Wolffardt from Austria.
Fellow team member Alice Haining was just behind Kimberly in 5th place.
In the K1W team event Kimberley, Alice and Mallory Franklin put in a stunning performance coming first and winning the gold medal, the only gold medal won by GB in a very competitive completion
It was a good event for the Great Britain team with all boats qualifying for the semi-finals but only nine paddlers making the finals with three winning medals.
In the team events five GB teams came in the top three places.