20 August 2019
Henshaw storms to gold on promising day for GB
Charlotte Henshaw got Great Britain off to a flying start at the Paracanoe Sprint World Championships with an opening-day gold in Hungary.
The 32-year-old – a two-time Paralympic medallist in her former life as a swimmer – dominated from start to finish in the VL3 final to win by one second from Russia’s Larisa Volik and set a new world record.
Henshaw made an impressive start to the 200m race and established a clear lead over her rivals by the halfway mark.
And from there she refused to be caught, pulling further clear of defending champion Volik to cross the line first, while Ukraine’s Natalia Lahutenko was third.
It is Henshaw’s second world title since her switch to canoeing, following a KL2 gold in 2018.
“I’m a bit all over the place, this is a bonus event for me and I’m very proud to kick the team off with some silverware,” she said.
“We’ve got a job to do this week, my main task is to raise the profile of the VL3 event so that we can hopefully get it in the next Paralympic cycle.
“But it’s always great to get a win and beat people who have beaten you before, so on a personal level it’s very nice – but there’s still a lot to do ahead of the end of the week.
“Going in both events is a skill, and it’s one that you have to perfect. There are things that we can learn but it’s making sure we do so to make us as best we can be.
“I’ve been managed through the afternoon very well by British Canoeing and we’ve been able to get the results from it.”
Henshaw will defend her KL2 title after winning her heat earlier in the day, while 2017 world champion Emma Wiggs joined her with a comfortable win of her own.
Hope Gordon (KL3), Laura Sugar (KL3), Stuart Wood (VL3), Jeanette Chippington (KL1), Rob Oliver (KL3), Jonny Young (KL3), Nick Beighton (KL2) and Ian Marsden (KL1) all also made it through to their respective finals.
Photo credit: ICF
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