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.
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.
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.
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