Mansfield's Charlotte Henshaw admitted she has only just started to feel like a ‘real’ paracanoe athlete after defending her KL2 200m title at the Paracanoe World Championships.
Henshaw, who won Paralympic swimming medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016, held off compatriot Emma Wiggs to win in a time of 47.62 seconds, securing her second gold medal of the competition.
The result, which also guaranteed a ParalympicsGB place in the event for the Tokyo 2020 Games, comes after the 32-year-old won the VL3 200m title in Szeged.
“I’m incredibly pleased.,” she said. “I was feeling a bit nervous coming into this because it’s a situation I’ve never had to deal with before and as much as you can say it’s just any other race there’s always that extra bit riding on it.
“I’m relieved to get the job done and it’s amazing that Emma and I have managed to once again be the top two steps on the podium and more importantly we’ve got that top six finish which is the whole point for next year.
“If you’d had said to me at the closing ceremony at Rio that I would hopefully be going to another games in a different sport I probably wouldn’t have believed you.
“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind three years but I’m really excited and feel really privileged to still be a part of it.
“It’s only just recently I’ve felt like a paddler. It took a while to get that sense of identity and the fact I’m a canoeist now and it’s still a work in progress but it’s a testament to all the support we get from British Canoeing that I’ve been able to make the transition so well.”
British Canoeing is the national governing body for paddlesports in the UK. Our purpose is to: Inspire people to pursue a passion for paddling; for health, enjoyment, friendship, challenge and achievement. Find out more on britishcanoeing.org.uk