Mansfield’s Charlotte Henshaw yesterday won silver in a new personal best time as Great Britain’s Paracanoe team dominated the European Championships in Belgrade.
Beaten by team mate Emma Wiggs, the pair decimated the field in the KL2 class by more than four seconds to help the team finish top nation by some considerable margin, with four gold medals, three silvers and a bronze.
It was another sparkling show by Henshaw as she works towards the Tokyo Paralympics and a real message of intent by the GB team.
“I am so proud to be part of this team,” said Henshaw. “We topped the medal table in Paracanoe yet again and really sent out a signal to the rest of the world that we mean business as we lead into the summer.
“Our world class staff have really gone above and beyond to make sure we could go out and paddle to the best of our capabilities.
“It was another competition on the road to Tokyo ticked off and I was chuffed with my performance.
“I won European silver in a very close race and a new PB, but trained through the meet so wasn’t expecting such a quick time at all.
“I loved being on the start line with Em and I am glad to be part of the awesome performances today from GB Paracanoe.
“Big thanks to my coach, Col, for all his guidance and knowledge as I continue to learn this sport and progress.
“Athletes would be nothing without the world leading team with and behind us. It’s exciting to build towards Worlds qualifying with a solid performance.”
Wiggs became double European Champion, winning the women’s KL2 to add to the Va’a VL2 title from the day before.
She posted a time of 48.568 only the second time sub 49 seconds and some 4.7 seconds faster than her Paralympic final in 2016.
However Wiggs was chased all the way by Henshaw, who took her second successive European silver only 0.43 seconds behind her, with Russia’s Nadezda Andreeva in third.
Ecstatic to win her fifth European Championship title and seventh European medal, Emma Wiggs said: “I’m over the moon with the performance.
“Charlotte and I had no idea when we crossed the line who had won it was that close.
“It’s brilliant to get another good time, particularly as it’s still early on in our plan.”