8 June 2018
Winter work paid off for European gold, says Wiggs
Emma Wiggs claims her winter full of hard work paid dividends after helping Great Britain to a golden double at the Paracanoe European Championships in Belgrade.
Wiggs, the KL2 200m Paralympic champion from Rio, surged across the water in 57.903 seconds to seal VL2 success, while compatriot David Phillipson topped the podium in the men’s VL3 after a sensational performance in his European debut.
The experienced Wiggs led a British one-two across the line with Jeanette Chippington’s time of 1:00.516 good enough for silver on the day, ahead of Russia’s Mariia Nikiforova in third.
Rather than resting on her laurels during the offseason, the 37-year-old was grinding away, which she claims laid the groundwork for her European success.
“It’s really nice to see the rewards for the coaches and the team – it’s been a long, hard winter but it’s starting to come together on the water, so I’m really pleased,” said Wiggs.
“I’m really pleased with it, especially in the first half of the race, that is what we’ve been concentrating on – it’s good to be able to get out there and perform like that.
“It’s about delivering a really good run and a really good performance – racing two boats I’m looking to nail the processes and put down a performance we can be proud of. If the results come, that’s great, but I’ll be aiming for the delivery.”
Meanwhile, having qualified fastest from the heats in the mean’s VL2, Phillipson stormed to victory in 50.018 in the final, finishing more than a second ahead of Poland’s Tomas Mozdzierski.
It was so nearly a second British one-two of the day but Mozdzierski held off the challenge of Jack Eyers, who crossed the line just three tenths of a second behind his Polish counterpart to claim bronze.
Phillipson has the chance to add to his medal haul on Sunday when he lines up in the final of the KL2 after winning his semi-final in a time of 47.181.
Elsewhere, Jonathan Young and Robert Oliver’s third-place finishes in their heats saw them qualify directly for the KL3 Men’s 200m final, while Nicholas Beighton will join Phillipson in the medal race of the KL2.
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