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Medals galore on day 3 of Sprint and Paracanoe World Champs

Great Britain won six medals on a fabulous third day of the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships in Copenhagen. 

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There were back-to-back British 1-2s as Charlotte Henshaw added KL2 gold to her VL3 title with Emma Wiggs picking up her second medal of the championships.

Straight after, Laura Sugar became KL3 world champion for the first time, as Hope Gordon secured the silver.

Rob Oliver won silver in the men’s KL3 before Richmond's Lizzie Broughton earned the canoe sprint team’s first medal of the championships in the women’s K1 1000m. 

Charlotte Henshaw stormed to victory in the women’s KL2 race to become the Paralympic and World Champion in the event.

The 2019 World Champion got off to a fantastic start, and finished 1.97 seconds ahead of British teammate and 2016 Paralympic Champion Emma Wiggs, with the pair repeating the result from Tokyo.

Henshaw said: “It’s been a whirlwind fortnight and I think if had you told me in 2017 when I first sat in a kayak that over these two weeks that I would be a Paralympic champion and double world champion I probably wouldn’t have believed you.  

It’s been an amazing fortnight, I think it is really important to take some time to reflect on that and appreciate the achievements that we have had and not take that for granted whatsoever.

– Charlotte Henshaw
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Wiggs took home a silver following yesterday’s triumph in the women’s VL2 which saw her become a nine-time world champion.

“I had a terrible start, the conditions were quite tricky for my disability but I am happy with how I pulled it back and clung on to get a silver but I would like to have done a slightly better start,” she said. 

The friends and family were noisy! It’s quite weird to have gone from no spectators to a noisy bunch and there were some drums and all sorts but I’m really pleased to have them here.

– Emma Wiggs MBE

“I’m really chuffed for Charlotte and pleased to be on that podium next to her.” 

Laura Sugar followed Henshaw’s lead minutes later when she secured the KL3 crown, her first ever World Championship title to back up her Paralympic win last month. Hope Gordon finishing just after her British teammate for a second silver of the championships. 

The former track athlete, Sugar, said: “It was a hard race, I didn’t have a very good start at all. I was struggling during the whole warm-up with getting going in my start and the tailwind.

“I dug deep, I had a little word with myself in the warm-up and just went 'just fight for it' and I did in the second half and I did enough.

I knew I had enough in the tank and got there in the end.

– Laura Sugar

Gordon picked up her first senior World Championship medal on Thursday and now has another to add to the collection. 

She reflected on the hard work that had led to this point: “It’s great, I feel like this past year I have been doing those kinds of performances in training almost week-on-week but I just haven’t had the opportunity to do that in competition so it is just nice to get out there and do what I’ve been doing in training but for it to actually count.

Missing out on Tokyo was a bit bittersweet, the team did absolutely amazing, but I just wanted to prove that I can be up there as well and all three medallists from Tokyo were in there.

– Hope Gordon

“It’s amazing, to be part of two GB 1-2s in both races is really cool.” 

Rob Oliver (Solihull) continued the wave of British medals as he won silver in the men’s KL3 to back up the bronze he won out in Tokyo. 

He was joined in the final by Jonny Young who came home in ninth. 

Rob said: “I had the worst start I’ve had for about two years so that’s disappointing but then battling back, I stuck to my process, I didn’t try to catch the guys, I just stuck to my plan and paddled really strongly.  

"Obviously, it paid off because I caught them back up and finished second, it’s brilliant.  

My second silver medal at a World Championships and five years in the making.

– Rob Oliver

In the canoe sprint, Lizzie Broughton (Richmond) brought home a silver medal in the women's K1 1000m A Final, repeating the feat she achieved in 2018.

In what was a stacked and competitive final, Lizzie had a strong second half to the race to power into second place and add another World Championship medal to her accolades. 

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Overall, a good race it was obviously quite windy which I was unsure about because it was quite a swirly wind which sometimes I’m not the best in the wind, but it actually settled down quite nicely for the race.

– Lizzie Broughton

“And then, in terms of the race, I had my usual not the best start, but I managed to recover pretty well and was probably level by 250 which was better than anticipated.

“From then on it was a long drag to the finish it was probably as good as it could have been given the conditions.” 

In the men’s equivalent, Charlie Smith (Leighton Buzzard) finished eighth in his first senior A final with a composed race as he came home in a time of 3:35.63.

Smith had earlier gone in the B final of the men’s K4 500m alongside Dan Atkins (Reading), Trevor Thomson (Ealing) and Philip Miles (Royal Leamington Spa) as they finished sixth to put them 15th in the world.

In the men’s KL2 final, Dave Phillipson finished in fifth with teammate Nick Beighton just behind him in seventh in what was a competitive final.

In the other A finals, Deborah Kerr (Strathclyde) and Emma Russell (Chelmsford) fought back to finish fourth in their first World Championships as a duo in the women’s K2 500m. The pair put down a strong heats performance to qualify for the final, and showed some excellent determination in the back end of the race to take a strong fourth.

Katie Reid (Forth) secured a seventh-placed finish in the women’s C1 500m final before Dan Johnson (Chelmsford) came agonisingly close to making the A final of the men’s K1 500m.

The quartet of Zoe Clark (Royal), Anoushka Freeman (Richmond), Florence Duffield (Norwich) and Enya Dale (Falcon) finished seventh in their semi-final to end a successful senior debut for the team.