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Eighth place for Deborah Kerr in Olympic final

Deborah Kerr has finished in eighth place in the A Final of the canoe sprint women’s K1 200m at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Deborah Kerr 222

In her first Olympic Games, the Strathclyde paddler has made a big impact with a series of impressive performances over the last two days, including a personal best in the semi-final.

In the final, a great start saw Deborah in contention early on. But the 23 year-old then saw the experienced field move ahead, with New Zealand’s Lisa Carrington winning her third consecutive K1 women’s 200m title in a new Olympic record time of 38.120.

A fine performance in her first Olympic final saw Deborah claim eighth place in a time of 40.409.

Speaking after the race Deborah said:

I am delighted with reaching the final in my first Olympic Games. It was always going to be a tough final to get into, so I am really proud to have made it.

– Deborah Kerr

“I was tucked away in lane one for the semi-final which worked really well for me as I could just focus on myself. I knew the people that were going to come through in that race were in the middle lanes so it allowed me to stick to my guns which I am glad I did as it got me into the middle lane for the final which was so cool to be a part of.

 “I wasn’t nervous but I really felt the gravity of the event when I was lining up next to Lisa (Carrington) and Marta (Walczykiewicz), so maybe it wasn’t my best performance but I am so happy with it.”

Deborah secured a place in the final earlier in the day with second place in the semi-final, in a personal best time of 39.751.

Deborah, who is coached by Kristina Medovcikova at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham, has had a breakthrough year in 2021, claiming the bronze medal in the women’s K1 200m at the 2021 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup - her first international senior medal.

Reaching the A final in her first Olympic Games is an achievement she can certainly be proud of.

Deborah continued:

This year the 200 has been my strongest event, but I definitely back myself for the 500 as well. I put down a decent performance at the World Cup and it will be just as hard here. As long as I can put down a few decent races I will be happy.

– Deborah Kerr

“This time last year I wasn’t expecting to be here. To tick off an A final in an Olympic Games is more than what I wanted.

“It’s just amazing. It’s not where I imagined to be a couple of years ago. I am just delighted and can’t thank everyone enough for the support.”

Deborah will be back in action on Wednesday alongside Emily Lewis (Worcester) in the women’s K1 500m heats, start time 2:40 am BST.

Liam Heath (Wey) will begin his defence of his Olympic title in the men’s K1 200m heats, 1:30 am BST.

There will also be an Olympic debut for Katie Reid (Forth) who will be on the start line for the women’s C1 200m, a new event for the Olympic programme. The heats start at 2:05 am BST.

How can you follow?

Follow all the action on our live blog and social media channels for live commentary of the events, as well as round ups and quotes from each day.

Live coverage of the Games will be available on the Discovery+ platforms, BBC, Eurosport and with specific channel information provided nearer the event.


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