22 August 2019
Double delight for Henshaw
Charlotte Henshaw edged Emma Wiggs in a thrilling all-British dual in the women’s KL2 200m for her second World Paracanoe title in three days.
The 32-year-old, who also won the VL3 200m on Wednesday, held on down the final 50m to beat current Paralympic champion Wiggs and successfully defend her title.
Henshaw – a two-time Paralympic medallist in the swimming pool – is now targeting a place in Tokyo, three years on from believing her Games career was over.
“Had you said to me at the Rio closing ceremony that I could be going back to the Games in another sport, I wouldn’t have believed you,” she said.
“I am incredibly pleased. I was feeling nervous coming into this because it is a situation I have never had to deal with before.
“There is always that much more riding on it [when there is a title defence] and I am just happy to get the job done. It’s amazing Emma and I have once again got on the top two spots.
“We knew we had a job to do coming into this. We had race plans and thought we were in good enough form to execute them.
“You have always got the pressure of doing that and so it is really important to learn going into next year.”
Wiggs crossed the line in a season’s best and is also happy with her form, following gold in the VL2 on Thursday.
“I’m really pleased. I was disappointed with my race on Wednesday [semi-final] but this is my third 200m since June so I did better than Wednesday,” she said.
“Charlotte is a phenomenal competitor so to just be alongside her on the podium is brilliant but I’m over the moon to get a season’s best, that’s all I can ask for.
“I think we so far behind when we got back in the boat that it was about chipping away to get back to where we were.
“If you’ve offered me a gold and a silver a few months ago I would have bitten your hand off. I just want to put a stop on this year and build for next year now.”
There was more success for Great Britain, with Laura Sugar collecting silver in the women’s KL3 in her first World Championships.
Sugar was just 0.03s off gold, won by Uzbekistan’s Shakhnoza Mirzaeva and admits a slow start cost her dearly.
“I’m really happy. I wasn’t sure when I crossed the line whether to be happy or disappointed. I had no idea who had won it and I messed up my start a little but that’s probably one of my best second halves,” she said.
**Photo credit: **ICF
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