Bethan Forrow won her first individual international medal, taking third place in the Junior C1W on the final day of the U23 and Junior European Championships in Liptovsky, Slovakia with Etienne Chappell also on the podium in the Junior K1M.
Forrow was last off in the final after posting the fastest time in the semifinals of the junior C1W.
Having had a great start to her final run, Bethan hit a rock near gate 16 which caused her to capsize but she managed to stay on course, stay composed and do enough at the bottom end of the course to come away with a medal.
Using all her experience gained from being on the senior team last year, Forrow was delighted to land her first individual podium place, with all three junior medallists posting faster times than their U23 counterparts.
I am so pleased with that, it’s been a long time coming but I’m really happy to come away with a medal,– Bethan Forrow
“I am so pleased with that, it’s been a long time coming but I’m really happy to come away with a medal,” she said.
“It was a really physical and technical course so it was tough all round especially hitting the rock but I have learned a lot from my teammates back home, especially Kim (Woods). Being able to watch and learn from athletes like that, how they deal with pressure has taught me a lot and it is definitely paying off.
“It’s my last year as a junior and all three of the medallists will be moving up so it will continue to be competitive next year too."
Bethan crossed the finish in 111.77.
Bethan’s Lee Valley Paddle Sports Club teammate Ellis Miller was ninth overall after posting 134.01. She had a three early touches in an otherwise solid run.
Etienne Chappell, fresh from his World Cup tour which saw the youngster take Gold in the Extreme Slalom in Lee Valley in June, was one of three Brits in the final of the Junior K1M.
After a storming semi-final this morning, Chappell was second to last off in the final behind compatriots Ben Haylett and Jonny Dickson.
And a clean run down by the Seren Dwr paddler, put him one place higher than his previous best for his first junior individual medal in what is proving to be a breakthrough season for the youngster.
I’m really pleased with that, it’s really good to get my first international medal– Etienne Chappell
“I’m really pleased with that, it’s really good to get my first international medal,” said Etienne. “I haven’t done anything differently this season just training and relaxing but I’ve had a good year so far.
“I used Bratislava as a bit of a warm up to this weekend, to get used to being away and focussing on the racing again. I’d really like to thank my coach Tommy Power, he couldn’t be here this weekend as he’s just had a baby but he’s really made me who I am and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped to get me to this point.”
Chappell crossed the finish in 94.75 with teammate Jonny Dickson in seventh (97.91) and Ben Haylett eighth in 98.69.
Both Dickson (Independent) and Haylett (Holme Pierrepont) picked up touches at the technical bottom end of the course but finished in their best Junior European places to date.
In the U23 events, Phoebe Spicer was in action in the C1W semifinal but a couple of mistakes at the top of the course led a few touches which placed the Brit in 20th place overall, with a time of 137.98
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for Zac Allin as he finished outside the top 15 in the U23 Men’s K1. After a tough semifinal, he picked up a 50 in gate 14, in an otherwise solid run, to finish in 28th overall in 144.32
Ciaran Lee-Edwards was the team manager for the championships and he was pleased with the way each of the paddlers raced.
“It was a really solid championships for us,” he said. “We had a real mix of experienced athletes as well as some new members of the team but they all put their best out there on the course.
“I think there were lots of lessons learnt which the paddlers can reflect and build on for the World Championships in just under two weeks’ time. We will be joined there by Chris Bowers and Sophie Ogilvie from our senior team and I think that will give the teams a boost too.”
The Brits will now head on to Krakow, Poland where the U23 and Junior World Championships will be held between 16-21st July.