Kimberley Woods took bronze in a barnstorming women’s K1 final to pick up her first individual World Championship medal.
Day four of the ICF Canoe Slalom and Wildwater World Championships in Bratislava also saw Fiona Pennie finish fifth to mark the end of a glittering international career and Laura Milne come home in 10th in the women’s K1 wildwater final as the wildwater championships came to a close.
Kimberley Woods had qualified in eighth for the K1 final and put in a great run of 97.90 to move into provisional first place, only picking up two penalties on her way down a tricky course.
In the end, Rugby’s Woods took bronze behind a German 1-2 of Ricarda Funk and Elena Apel as she added K1 individual bronze to the K1 team gold she had won earlier in the week with Pennie.
“I’m pretty overwhelmed! It’s been such a great championships as it is from the first day to the last it is amazing to be knocking at the door and finally getting a medal,” Woods said.
“I never thought my first one would be in K1, it’s amazing to have something finally hanging around my neck from all the hard work I put in for the Games and probably came into the Worlds not being in the best shape, but I’m super happy to finally call myself a medallist!”
Woods was involved in a car accident on the eve of the Championships but hasn’t let that put her off her goals.
“I think something like that really shakes you up but for me, it really helped put a perspective on things.
“Something I will take forward to more races and my races next year is to really seize the moment and just be there and live it.”
Teammate Pennie qualified third fastest after a flying run in the semi-finals and looked on course for another podium finish, but penalties late on saw her eventually finish a very respectable fifth.
Reflecting on her retirement, Pennie said: “Internationally, that was my last race so there was a little bit of pressure on it I suppose but I always do well under pressure.
“There were mixed emotions at the bottom for sure but it was a good run to finish on but sad that that was the last one.
“It’s been a long one, there have been some really good results in there, that was my ninth final out of 12 World Champs so I have always done pretty well when it has come to World Champs races.
“There could have been some better results at the Olympics and converting some more of those finals into medals would have been great but overall, I can’t complain, it has been a good run.”
Alongside Pennie and Woods was Mallory Franklin who was agonisingly close to joining the pair in the final before becoming unstuck at gate 20 and eventually finishing just outside the qualifying spots in 12th.
Laura Milne was the last British paddler in action on day four and she put in a great run to finish inside the top 10 in the world in the women’s K1 wildwater final.
Her time of 61.31 saw her finish less than three seconds off the medals, but the Pinkston Panther said just being in the final was achievement enough.
She said: “It wasn't perfect, but it was quite slick, I just kept going straight, so I didn't have to do any correction strokes and just kept going towards the finish line.
“It wasn't the perfect run, but I don't think you can have the perfect run on this course because it's so unpredictable.
Coming into these World Championships, I would have been really happy to make the final, so coming in the top 10 is a really big bonus– Laura Milne
Simon Wright, wildwater team leader, gave his verdict on the World Championships: “This week the team have conducted themselves with maturity and focussed application during the limited time available to get to know this demanding course and in every case, they have met or exceeded expectations.
“Laura’s result yesterday by qualifying for today’s final and then bettering her time in a great run is the undoubted highlight and given us something to really cheer about.”
In the men’s K1 semi-finals, gate 20 also disrupted Bradley Forbes-Cryans charge for a final spot as he came in 23rd in a time of 92.44.
At his fourth senior World Championships, Chris Bowers finished in 37th in the same semi-final after a 50-second penalty put paid to a promising run from the Stafford & Stone paddler.
Racing concludes tomorrow with the Canoe Slalom canoe semi-finals and finals in the morning with the extreme slalom in the afternoon.
You can follow all the action live via the options below:
British Canoeing Live Blog
ICF Live stream
Schedule for Sunday 26 September
08:03 Women's Canoe C1 Semi final
0819 Bethan Forrow
0859 Mallory Franklin
0901 Kimberley Woods
09:08 Men's Canoe C1 Semi final
0912 Peter Linksted
0922 Adam Burgess
1002 David Florence
10:33 Women's Canoe C1 Final
11:10 Men's Canoe C1 Final
EXTREME CANOE SLALOM - HEATS PHASE
14:30 Women's Extreme Canoe Slalom - Heats
14:54 Men's Extreme Canoe Slalom - Heats
EXTREME CANOE SLALOM - FINAL PHASES
15:33 Women's Extreme Canoe Slalom - 1/4 Final
15:51 Men's Extreme Canoe Slalom - 1/4 Final
16:09 Women's Extreme Canoe Slalom - 1/2 Final
16:18 Men's Extreme Canoe Slalom - 1/2 Final
16:29 Women's Extreme Canoe Slalom - Final
16:35 Men's Extreme Canoe Slalom - Final
Results from Saturday 25 September
Kimberley Woods - Bronze 97.90
Fiona Pennie - 5th 99.84
Mallory Franklin - 12th in semi-final 106.57
Bradley Forbes-Cryans 23rd in semi-final 92.44
Chris Bowers 37th in semi-final 138.21
K1W Final Laura Milne 10th - 63.10