Great Britain’s Paracanoe team continued to dominate at the European Championships in Belgrade today, winning two gold and two silver medals in just 40 minutes to add to their tally of four from yesterday. The team finished as top nation at the event by some considerable margin, with four gold, three silver and a bronze.
Emma Wiggs became double European Champion, winning the women’s KL2 today to add to the Va’a VL2 title from yesterday. She posted a time of 48.568 only the second time sub 49 seconds and some 4.7 seconds faster than her Paralympic final in 2016.However Wiggs was chased all the way by teammate Charlotte Henshaw, who took her second successive European silver only 0.43 seconds behind her, with Russia’s Nadezda Andreeva in third.
Ecstatic to win her fifth European Championship title and seventh European medal, Emma Wiggs said: “Wow! I’m over the moon with the performance, Charlotte and I had no idea when we crossed the line who had won it was that close! It’s brilliant to get another good time, particularly as it’s still early on in or plan.
It really wouldn’t be possible without our world class staff team and seeing as it’s UK Coaching Week it’s lovely to grab them another medal. Our programme is working so hard to always improve and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of UK Sport and everyone who plays the National Lottery, so it certainly is a ‘whole team’ effort! I’m excited to get back training and to what I’m sure will be even closer racing in the future!– Emma Wiggs MBE, five-time European Champion
There was then high drama in the women’s KL1 race with Jeanette Chippington looking like she had been touched out on the finish line into silver medal position. However several minutes later just prior to the medal ceremony it was confirmed that the Ukranian paddler Maryna Mazhula had been disqualified for illegal adaptations to her boat and Chippington was upgraded to gold, her sixth European Championships title and the seventh European medal of her career.
Holder of the KL1 European Championship title since 2014, Jeanette Chippington said: “Wow what a surprise. I was really pleased with my time and what I thought was silver position, although I was speaking to Griff my coach saying great result, however I am no longer European Champion. But I arrived at the podium to be told the Ukraine had been given a DQ.
It’s great to see the classifiers and technical officials are sticking to the rules and obviously a fantastic result for me to then be given the gold and European Championship title. Such a great feeling!– Jeanette Chippington MBE
It was also a good day for Paralympic bronze medallist, Nick Beighton who had looked in strong form in yesterday’s heats. Today he looked equally good and won a superb silver and an upgrade from his 2017 European bronze, just .042 seconds behind Markus Swoboda of Austria.
Paracanoe Head Coach, Scott Simon in only his first season in charge said: “We came here with a developmental emphasis to this trip and we have certainly learnt a lot and feel we are building something special now and you can really feel that within the team. It is fantastic that the guys have done so well given the stage of the season we are at and it really bodes so well for the World Championships and the rest of the cycle.
“The athletes’ performances are rightly the headlines, but they are underpinned by the efforts of the whole support team and it is the world-class package that we have in paracanoe that enables these athletes to do what they do and keeps us ahead of the game.– Paracanoe Head Coach, Scott Simon
Reflecting on the new faces on the team, Simon added: “It is great to see Jack Eyers have his breakthrough here this weekend and not only make the final but to medal as well. Dave Phillipson absolutely smashed it to win the men’s VL3 and it shows how well we are doing in the Va’a boat and that we have a jump on the rest of the world and we just need to make sure we stay there now.”
Scotland’s Katie Reid was the only canoe sprint paddler in action today in the A Final of the women’s C1 200m. She posted another strong sub 49 second time to finish eighth, in a race with a blistering fast pace, won by Olesia Romasenko in 45.72 seconds.
Sunday Results Summary
Women’s KL2 - Emma Wiggs (Independent) A Final 1st GOLD
Women’s KL2 – Charlotte Henshaw (Independent) A Final 2nd SILVER
Women’s KL1 - Jeanette Chippington (Longridge) A Final 1st GOLD
Men’s KL2 - Nick Beighton (Help for Heroes) A Final SILVER
Men’s KL2 - David Phillipson (Independent) A Final 7th
Men’s KL3 - Robert Oliver (Solihull) A Final 5th
Men’s KL3 - Jonathan Young (Canoe Northern Ireland) A Final 6th
C1W 200m - Katie Reid (Holme Pierrepont) A Final 8th