British duo Kimberley Woods and Bradley Frobes-Cryans were the two standout performers at the Junior and U23 World Championships in Ivrea, Italy.
The pair secured three individual medals over the weekend (18-22 July), whilst another three medals were won during the team events.
The competition was the final U23 Championships for both Kim and Bradley, with the athletes signing off from the event with deserved medals.
Woods Wins U23 World Championship Treble
Rugby born athlete Kimberley Woods signed off from her final Junior and U23 World Championships in style, picking up three medals across the competition.
She went into the Championships in good form, having some solid finishes in the senior competitions and narrowly missing out on the medals.
The 22-year-old picked up her first medal during the team event, winning a bronze medal in K1 women under 23 alongside Megan Hamer-Evans and Sophie Ogilvie.
Going into the individual events, Kim followed up her early bronze medal with another, claiming her best ever U23 K1 finish after fourth place finishes in 2015 and 2016.
That was before she won a dramatic silver medal in a fine show of technical ability, in her last – and most successful – U23 event in the C1W final.
After initially crossing the line in third place with the only clean run of the final, Kimberley had an agonising wait for the last two competitors to race. A retrospective 50 for Tereza Fiserova of the Czech Republic saw Kimberley move up to second place as the final competitor took to the course.
The Rugby paddler was delighted to sign off with a silver.
“I’m so happy to finish the champs like this and I’m so happy with the clean run. Last year, I only got three all season and I’ve had five so far this year in C1.
“I’m sad to finish competing at the U23 and Junior competitions, but it’s been a great week and I’m really happy with my processes. I don’t win many kayak medals, so that was great, but this C1 medal is the icing on the cake.”
Bradley claims first individual medal at Junior and U23 World Championships
Bradley Forbes-Cryans won his first individual medal at a Junior and U23 World Championships, putting in a clinical run to claim silver in the K1M U23 final.
Finishing third in the semi-finals, Forbes-Cryans then went one better in the final and missed out on the gold by the smallest of margins, just 0.04 seconds.
“I felt good this morning and I came to win it today,” he said. “After a solid semi-final run, I knew I had to bring it back and concentrate on the processes for the final. I walked the course and did our video review to see where I could make gains.
“It was my final run in my final year at this competition, so I wanted to do my best. I started well and that continued through the run.
“It would have been nice to be on the other side of the fine margin, but that’s slalom. I did my best run today in the final and I’m really happy to be on the podium.
“It was a good sign off from the U23s and it’s now onto the next step.”
Teams Step Up to Claim Three Medals
Joining the K1 women under 23 team of Kimberley Woods, Megan Hamer-Evans and Sophie Ogilvie on the podium was the C1 men under 23, who claimed the first medal of the day.
Tom Abbott, Will Smith and Sam Ibbotson all paddled clean runs to finish just four seconds behind Germany and France to claim a bronze medal.
Meanwhile in the juniors, Bethan Forrow, Ellis Miller and Daisy Cooil won a fine silver medal in the C1 women junior team event, finishing the challenging course in 127.94 and recording just eight seconds in penalties, to take second place behind the Czech Republic.
“It was as a really good start for us as a team and gives us great confidence ahead of the rest of the week, ” said Bethan. “It is a really tough course but we stuck to our game plan and it paid off.”
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