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Gold for Lili Bryant at the Youth Olympic Games Qualification event

British athletes shine in the Obstacle Slalom at the prestigious international event in Barcelona.

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Last weekend saw four junior paddlers represent Great Britain at the Youth Olympic Games World Qualification event which took place in Castelldefels, Barcelona.

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) provides an opportunity for young athletes to gain multi-sport event experience, with athletes competing in both Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom, and aid their development into senior athletes capable of medal winning success at future Olympic Games.

These athletes were competing to qualify nation spots to race at the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October 2018. Only the top six athletes from each continent qualify. 

The competition started on 12 April in the athletes’ unfavoured discipline of Canoe Sprint. Both Lois Leaver (Edinburgh Schools KC) and Lili Bryant (Llandysul Paddlers) put a strong showing in the K1W category finishing in 48th and 57th respectively.

Two days later, both athletes had an incredibly successful day competing in the K1W Canoe Slalom discipline. Lili Bryant took gold in the K1W Obstacle Slalom with her British counterpart; Lois finishing in 4th place. These tremendous performances did a lot to boost their overall rankings (a combination of their Canoe Sprint and Obstacle Slalom ranking) with both Lois and Lili being within the top 15 boats (unofficially) in Europe.

Lili Bryant doubled up in this competition and competed in the C1W category, coming 33rd in Canoe Sprint and 17th in the Obstacle Slalom event, ensuring she finished within the top 20 (unofficially) boats in Europe.

In the K1M discipline, Thomas Mayer (Stafford & Stone CC) came 69th and Ross Dixon (Lee Valley PC) came 77th. Both athletes turned their fortunes around in their preferred Obstacle Slalom event where they narrowly missed out on a place in the Quarter Finals; Ross finished 9th and Thomas finished 10th. Both paddlers performed well in a heavily dominant K1M field to finish within the top 30 boats (unofficially) in Europe.

Congratulations to all athletes who competed! All athletes will have an anxious wait to see if they can qualify for the Youth Olympic Games Finals in Buenos Aires.