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Tenth World Title for Wiggs as Brits dominate paracanoe World champs

Emma Wiggs MBE won her 10th World Championship gold medal and Charlotte Henshaw MBE too retained her VL3 World title, as Britain won a whopping six medals in a sensational morning at the 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships in Halifax, Canada.

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Two A Finals were also secured in the canoe sprint racing with the women's K4 and K2 crews achieving top two finishes in their semi-finals.

In just 25 minutes of finals, the medals just kept coming from the British team as Dave Phillipson, Rob Oliver and Hope Gordon all claimed silver medals, with Jeanette Chippington OBE also winning bronze, her 30th international medal.

It was some fine British medal success for Emma Wiggs and Jeanette Chippington who replicated the results of the Paralympic Games in Tokyo last year, as they lined up first for the Brits in a direct women’s VL2 final.

Emma stormed out the bucket to edge ahead of Jeanette and home paddler Brianna Hennessey of Canada, and she powered on from there to defend her World title and win an incredible tenth paracanoe World Championship gold medal.

Emma returns to the water tomorrow as she will contest the women’s KL2 final.

Delighted with her result Emma said:

I’m really relieved, really chuffed. It’s been a tough year for lots of reasons, but I'm just really pleased to deliver a run that hopefully made everyone proud.

– Emma Wiggs
20220805 02785 Halifax

“It’s tough to go straight into a final, I’ve never done one in the Va’a so I was nervous, especially with not racing for a year. Really pleased to control the nerves and give it all I have.

“Just amazing.”

In the same final, Jeanette chased down the leading two athletes throughout the 200m course to claim third spot in a time of 1:03.33 and her 30th international medal in her incredibly successful paracanoe career.

It’s the first of two finals for Jeanette as she challenges for the women’s KL1 final on Saturday.

Initially not aware she had won bronze, Jeanette said:

“I’m very pleased with that result. When I crossed the line I thought I'd finished fourth. Extremely delighted to have that confirmed as bronze.

On her 30th medal in the sport, she said:

You get all the nerves at the start of a race, but it’s worth it either way. Winning a medal is amazing and you get such a buzz but there’s more to it than that. I’m just delighted to have that medal.

– Jeanette Chippington

Charlotte Henshaw once again defended her World title in the women’s VL3 as Hope Gordon ensured a British 1-2 after winning silver.

Getting off to a fantastic start, Charlotte pushed on ahead of her British teammate to win gold in a time of 59.58 and her sixth World Championship title since making the switch from Para-swimming. 

Last year it was confirmed that the VL3 will be included in the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games programme and with two medal opportunities, and with another title to defend tomorrow in the women’s KL2, Charlotte said:

“That was a tough race. I know Hope was chasing me down and the home crowd were cheering on their athlete, and that got me really excited.

I knew it was going to be an exciting race and that showcased why it’s been chosen for the Paralympic programme for Paris.

– Charlotte Henshaw

“Come 2024 it’s going to be a huge spectacle.”

Hope Gordon won her third World silver medal as she chased Charlotte all the way. Her time of 1:00.84 was just over a second behind Charlotte as she made sure the results replicated those of the 2021 World Championships.

I’m really happy with winning silver. I had to do a bit of steering off the start which cost me a bit but I got the boat back under control and the rest of the race was strong.

– Hope Gordon

“It’s been tough the past few weeks with my gran passing recently, I just wanted to do well for my family and bring some positive news back.”

It was a tense affair in the men’s KL3 final as Rob Oliver powered to consecutive World Championship silver medals to continue Britain’s wave of medals during an action packed morning. 

Just 0.08 seconds separated the top three with the final result too close to call on initial look. 

Rob came into the World Championships as Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist and after an intense wait there for the photo finish to confirm the final results, yet again Rob had British hopes waiting with baited breath in Canada for the final placings to be confirmed.

He posted a time of 41.70 which secured him that silver, an agonising 0.02 off gold.

“It’s great, the year I've had after I took some time away from the sport to spend time with the family. 

Coming out here I wanted to be in top five and contention, and to be 0.02 off World Champion, can’t get much better than that. I’m really chuffed.

– Rob Oliver

“Back to back medals, and four races in a row. It’s that consistency I’ve wanted all my career.”

In the same final, Jonny Young was incredibly close to claiming his first medal since the 2017 World Championships, as he put down a great performance to finish fourth. The CANI athlete was just 0.6 seconds off a podium finish.

The men’s KL2 final was also a thrilling affair as Dave Phillipson claimed his first ever World Championship medal with a fantastic silver medal performance.

With five athletes all battling for the coveted medals, Dave was right in amongst the top boats, and as he chased down Ukrainian paddler Mykola Syniuk, he snuck into silver ahead of Scott Marlew of New Zealand to get his first piece of World Championship silverware round his neck.

That silver medal hasn’t quite sunk in yet. Buzzing. Chuffed to bits. I didn’t expect that, but I knew it was going to be tight. We all looked across the line, we didn’t know who had won what.

– Dave Phillipson

The women’s K4 crew of Deborah Kerr (Anker Valley), Emma Russell (Chelmsford), Emily Lewis (Worcester) and Rebii Simon (Elmbridge) booked their spot in the 500m A Final after a strong performance got the British team underway on day three.

The four came charging out the start buckets and battled with the Mexican and Canadian crews over the halfway mark, with the Brits needing a top three to make it into tomorrow's A Final. 

Taking on their first World Championships as a crew, they secured second place in 1:38.21, just 0.37 off top.

Also taking on their first World Championships as a crew, Noah Dembele (Leaside), Tom Lusty (Solihull), Trevor Thomson (Ealing) and Lewis Fletcher (Scottish Performance Squad) will line up in tomorrow’s K4 500m B Final.

It was a fantastic start from the team as they were amongst the top four at 250m, and with a tight finish to the backend of the race, they finished seventh in 1:25.37 and will return again tomorrow.

Pleased with their progress this season, they said:

Deborah Kerr and Emma Russell rounded off the Brits' involvement on day three in emphatic fashion, winning the K2 500m semi-final to secure their second A Final race off the afternoon.

Sitting around fourth and fifth and the halfway mark, the Anker Valley and Chelmsford duo really found another gear to close down the leading pack and charge into first spot over the finish line, with stunned looks saying everything about that race.

Chelmsford’s Dan Johnson will too contest the B Final after finishing fifth in his K1 1000m semi-final.

Dan really took the race to the rest of round as he sat in the top three alongside Australia’s Thomas Green and Dong  Zhang of China. It was a tight finish though as his competitors put in a late charge to leave a narrow 0.5 second between the World Cup B Final winner and a spot in the A Final.

Returning to the water for her individual race, Emily Lewis just missed out on progressing out of the K1 500m semi-final. 

The Worcester paddler dug deep during her second race of the day, but was just a second off reaching tomorrow’s B Final.

Afton Fitzhenry (Belfast) and Beth Gill (Chelmsford) were too very close to reaching their first ever World Championships A Final.

Taking on their first competition together this season, the duo were right in the mix throughout, keeping in touching distance of the strong top three crews. Their time of 2:11.01 saw them finish fourth, with three progressing, but does secure the pair a top 10 finish in Canada.

Recap today's racing and follow all the action tomorrow with further finals in store here

Results on Day Three:

Emma Wiggs - Women's VL2 Final - GOLD

Jeanette Chippington - Women's VL2 Final - BRONZE

Dave Phillipson - Men's KL2 Final - SILVER

Charlotte Henshaw - Women's VL3 Final - GOLD

Hope Gordon - Women's VL£ Final - SILVER

Rob Oliver - Men's KL3 Final - SILVER

Jonny Young -Men's KL3 Final - 4th

Deborah Kerr (Anker Valley), Emma Russell (Chelmsford), Emily Lewis (Worcester) and Rebii Simon (Elmbridge) Women’s K4W 500m Semi-final- 2nd and progress to A Final

Tom Lusty (Solihull), Lewis Fletcher (Linlithgow Kayak Racing), Trevor Thomson (Ealing) and Noah Dembele (Olympic Racing Squad) - Men’s K4 500m Semi-final- 7th and progress to B Final

Beth Gill (Chelmsford) & Afton Fitzhenry (Belfast) - Women’s C2 500m Semi-Final- 4th

Emily Lewis (Worcester) - Women’s K1 500m Semi-Final- 7th

Dan Johnson (Chelmsford) - Men's K1 1000m Semi-Final - 5th and progresses to B Final

Deborah Kerr (Anker Valley) and Emma Russell (Chelmsford) - Women’s K2 500m Semi-finals - 1st and progress to A Final