Paracanoe grand slam champions Jeanette Chippington and Emma Wiggs have secured their places on the British team for two major international meets this summer after a successful selection campaign at Holme Pierrepoint this weekend.
Winning two out of two rounds in KL1 and KL2 respectively, the Paralympic champions also made the cut for the VL2.
Emma will be joined in the KL2 event by two-time Paralympic swimming medallist Charlotte Henshaw who made her international debut on the paracanoe team last year, where she won the silver at the European Championships in Plovdiv but narrowly missed out on a chance to race at the World Championships after finishing behind Nikki Patterson last season.
In one of the most hotly contested races of the regatta Rob Oliver and Jonny Young both have earned their place on the team to lead the charge in the KL3 event. Less than half a second split the pair across both races with Rob crossing the line first on both occasions.
Paralympic and European bronze medallist Nick Beighton was the top KL2 finisher.
David Phillipson and Jack Eyres will make their international debuts in the VL3 events, a classification which will make its debut at the 2020 Paralympic Games in Toyko. Former international wheelchair tennis player Phillipson and fitness model Jack Eyres edged out two-time world bronze medallist Martin Tweedie in another closely fought contest.
Scott Simon, head coach for the paracanoe programme, said: “It was a really exciting selection weekend and it’s great for the squad to have such tightly contested races.
“After a tough winter training regime the athletes were looking forward to getting out there and setting standards down to mark the start of the season and it was great to see the hard work coming into fruition.– Scott Simon
“There were some strong performances from our experience athletes but it was also very positive to see such improvements in the newer members of the squad too.
“What is positive for the sport is the calibre of athletes who just missed out on selection this time, They will now be focused on our second selection event later this year and their dedication and drive to succeed as one as part of our Project9 can only stand us in good stead for the season.”
Paul Ratcliffe who oversaw the first paracanoe selection event since taking on the role of Performance Director, was pleased with what he saw.
He said: “The dedication, determination and perseverance that this team demonstrates on a daily basis is incredible. Preparations throughout the winter combined with the high quality performances this weekend now provide us with a strong platform to build on as we switch our focus to the international season.
“Well done to all our athletes and staff and thank you to our hard working volunteers for putting on a great event.”
The full British Canoeing International Panel Statement can be found here.