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Great Britain’s paracanoe team set for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Eight athletes representing ParalympicsGB are set to take to the water as the paracanoe events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games commence on Thursday 2 September.

Great Britain was the most successful nation at the Rio 2016 Games with three golds and two bronze medals.

Nine gold medals will be up for grabs over the three days of competition at the Sea Forest Waterway, an increase from the six gold medals on offer when paracanoe made its Paralympics debut in Rio in 2016.

More than 90 athletes from almost 30 countries will compete at the paracanoe competition in Tokyo. Paralympics GB will have the biggest team in Tokyo after qualifying eight boats.

The three additional medals will be contested in Va’a boats, with two races for men and one for women.

The new discipline is competed in an outrigger canoe, which has an ‘ama’ as a support float on one side. Va'a is the name of the paddling discipline which has its origins in Polynesia.

Nearly all of the gold medallists from Rio will be back to defend their titles, including Great Britain’s Jeanette Chippington in the women’s KL1 and Emma Wiggs in the women’s KL2.

Emma Wiggs is the reigning Paralympic Champion in the KL2 200m event and the reigning VL2 200m World Champion. In 2017 Emma achieved the Paracanoe 'Grand Slam' holding the Paralympic, European and World titles within the calendar year.

Competing in the KL1 and VL2 is Jeanette Chippington (Longridge CC). One of the world's most successful paddlers ever, with 28 medals to her name since making her Paracanoe debut in 2012, Jeanette will be defending her KL1 Paralympic title from 2016 when she takes to the water in Tokyo.

Ian Marsden (Trentham CC), who won bronze in the men's KL1 200m event at Paracanoe's debut at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, will be looking to see if he can improve on his last Paralympic performance.

Rob Oliver (Solihull CC) will compete in the men’s KL3 in Tokyo, in his second Paralympic Games. Rob has competed in the paracanoe team for a decade with numerous medals to his name.

Going in the KL2 and KL3 women’s events are Charlotte Henshaw and Laura Sugar respectively. As Reigning KL2 200m World Champion Charlotte transferred from Para-Swimming after Rio 2016 and has achieved a podium in every race she has started internationally.

Laura made an instant impact in Paracanoe after an incredible debut season during 2019, accumulating three international medals. Laura has also represented Great Britain internationally in both hockey and para athletics.

With three medals after three seasons in the sport, Dave Phillipson will compete in the men’s KL2. Dave made the switch to paracanoe from wheelchair tennis and will be hoping to make a splash.

Stuart Wood (Bath University CC) will make his Paralympic debut in the men’s VL3 when he takes to the water. A breakthrough season in 2019 saw him come away with two international medals, including bronze at the World Championships.

How to watch and follow the action

British Canoeing will be covering the paracanoe events via our Paddle to Tokyo website, social media and a live blog for a round up of the Tokyo action each day.

Live coverage of the Games will be available across the Channel 4 broadcast channels and streaming via their website.

The competition schedule and full results service is available on the Tokyo 2020 Games website

New to paddling?

If you have been inspired by watching paracanoe at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, check out Paddle, Perform, Podium, our initiative looking for individuals to join the Paracanoe Talent Pathway, with the aim of competing at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games and beyond.