Charlotte races in her new sport of Para canoe

Charlotte Henshaw

Athlete Information

  • Region

    Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

  • Date of Birth


  • Classification


Athlete main content

Charlotte enjoyed a successful career in the pool, winning medals for ParalympicsGB at London 2012 and Rio 2016 before transitioning to Para canoe.

Charlotte first started swimming aged four, when she began lessons at her local pool. She progressed through the local club system and made her debut at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.

At London 2012, she set a new Paralympic record of 1:39.64 in the qualifying heats of the 100m breaststroke SB6 and in doing so beating the Paralympic record set by teammate Liz Johnson in the first heat just minutes previously. In the final, she further reduced this time to 1:39.16, but finished just 0.03 seconds behind Viktoriia Savtsova to take the silver medal. Liz Johnson took bronze.

Charlotte produced numerous personal best times in 2015, lowering the European record three times and won silver at the 2015 IPC Swimming World Championships in Glasgow.

At Rio 2016, her third Paralympic Games, Charlotte won bronze in the 100m breaststroke SB6.

Switching to Para canoe for the Tokyo 2020 Games, Charlotte underlined her status as reigning double world champion as she stormed to gold in the Women’s Kayak Single 200m (KL2) in a personal best 50.760 ahead of teammate Emma Wiggs.

From the pool to the boat

Following those Games, Charlotte made a successful transition to Para canoe, and has consistently produced results to make the podium at international events.

Charlotte is the reigning KL2 200m World Champion, after winning gold at the 2019 World Championships in Szeged, Hungary, adding to her World Championship title in 2018 too. Henshaw also currently holds the European title after a 2019 victory in Poznan

In 2017, Charlotte won silver at the European Championships in the K1 KL2 200m and was a finalist in the VL3 at the 2017 World Championships in Racice, Czech Republic. After World Cup 1 and the European Championships’ silver medals in 2018, Charlotte went on to become the K1 KL2 200m World Champion and also took bronze in the V1 VL3 200m class.

Major Results


Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Women’s Kayak Single

  • KL2 200m - gold

2019 ICF World Championships, Szeged, Hungary

  • KL2 200m: gold
  • VL3 200m: gold

2018 ICF World Championships, Montemor O Velho, Portugal

  • KL2 200m: gold
  • VL3 200m: bronze

2017 ICF World Championships, Racice, Czech Republic

  • VL2 200m: 8th

Para swimming

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

  • 100m breaststroke SB6: bronze

London 2012 Paralympic Games

  • 100m breaststroke SB6: silver
  • 400m freestyle S8: 6th (heat 1)

Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games

  • 100m breaststroke SB6: 4th

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