Stirring silver for Birthday girl Woods
Canoe Slalom

Stirring silver for Birthday girl Woods

08 September 2019 / 18:09

Kimberley Woods toasted her 24th birthday with silver at the canoe slalom World Cup Final in Prague.

Emerging from the semi-finals as fastest qualifier, the two-time World Championship medallist looked good for a medal in the final and delivered when it mattered.

Australian Jess Fox had laid down an eye-catching time of 124.83s, and Woods matched her gate-for-gate as she flew down the course.

There was just 0.04s in it by the finish-line as she was made to settle for silver, but that certainly did not dampen her mood.

“This is one of my favourite courses and today it just all came together, and I felt really good,” she said.

“I was in the top two through all the rounds so it was good to deliver that final run today and deliver consistent races.

“I'm quite an instinctive paddler and with such a technical course it really played to my strengths. I've previously struggled during the last part of the race, but I felt really strong, and with the crowd cheering I just went faster.

"The World Championships is coming around quickly but I'm feeling good in the boat. I've got a lot of confidence in all the areas I've been working on and I can't wait to get there and race."

Elsewhere, Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke was eighth in the final of the men’s K1 after penalties put paid to his shot at gold.

But Clarke, like Woods, is looking ahead, with World Championships and Olympic Qualifier now just weeks away, he is sure that his experience in the Czech Republic will prepare him well.

"I got a couple of early touches but then I just put too much effort in to try and reduce the deficit but then I picked up more which was frustrating,” he said.

“I’ve made it through to another final so overall I’m happy with my levels of consistency and I was pleased to qualify through this morning from 40 boats in the semi-finals, especially with a touch.

“It’s all to play for now at the World Championships in Seu in a couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to getting out there and racing clean and hopefully winning a medal.

“The pressure will be on, but this brings out the best in me.”

Elsewhere, Mallory Franklin finished 15th in her semi-final of the women’s C1, with Sophie Ogilvie 23rd, while Bradley Forbes-Cryans was 34th in his men’s K1 semi, with Chris Bowers just a place behind him.

Sportsbeat 2019