CANOEING: Kimberley Woods earns Olympic selection for Tokyo 2020

Kimberley Woods has earned the K1 selection for Tokyo 2020 after coming sixth in the world championships in Spain at the weekend and being top British boat  Picture: Bence Vekassy
Kimberley Woods has earned the K1 selection for Tokyo 2020 after coming sixth in the world championships in Spain at the weekend and being top British boat Picture: Bence Vekassy

Rugby canoeist finishes top British boat in the women's K1 at world championships

Kimberley Woods has earned selection to the Great Britain team for next year's Tokyo Olympics, securing her place as the K1 women's boat.

Going into the World Championships in La Seu, Spain at the weekend, the rankings were extremely close and it had all come down to the last selection races.

Only the top finishing British woman in each event was destined to go to Tokyo.

Kimberley, going off early in the order posted a solid 99.65 seconds with just one touch and then had to sit and wait to see the rest of the race unfold. In the end it was enough to make the final, qualifying in eighth place, but more importantly for Woods, she had beaten both her K1 teammates, who sadly failed to make the cut, to secure the British nomination for the one Olympic spot.

Shaking with emotion, Kimberley said: “I am lost for words! It has always been a dream to go to the Games and now it is actually happening.

"It is my first senior World Championships final in four years, so I was happy to be in the final, but I never thought it (selection) would be done and dusted like that. I knew that both the other girls were capable of making the final.”

Woods finished sixth in the final.

It wasn't such a happy ending for Kimberley in the C1 event as she didn’t have the best of runs and agonisingly finished one place behind team mate Mallory Franklin in 12th. Again Olympic qualification was extremely tight going into the event and Franklin secured her place in Tokyo as the best British C1 boat.

Kimberley said: “It came down to the wire at the end of the day and I am gutted to have not done better in C1 but it is great that the nation has still qualified the quota spot.”