CANOEING - Olympic medal would be ultimate reward for Woods after years of tears and hurt - The Rugby Observer

CANOEING - Olympic medal would be ultimate reward for Woods after years of tears and hurt

Aaron Sutcliffe 25th Jun, 2024 Updated: 26th Jun, 2024   0

KIMBERLEY Woods admits winning an Olympic medal at Paris 2024 this summer would be the ultimate reward for years of tears and hurt.

Woods is currently number one in the kayak cross world rankings and heads into the Games off the back of winning bronze at a World Cup event in Krakow, Poland.

And the Rugby canoeist is embracing her number one status heading into the Games this summer.

Woods exclusively told the Observer: “The preparation I’ve been doing is everything that I was planning to do, coming away with a medal is really good but every race is different and the Olympics will be different.

“I’m feeling confident with past performances and medals around my neck and I’m feeling really strong.

“I’m still holding on to my world number one status in the kayak cross and I’m 10th in the kayak slalom which is the highest I’ve ever been.

“I’ve managed to maintain and keep my ranking, I definitely see it as more of a positive, the other girls will want me out early but I’m not going to let that happen.”

Woods finished 10th in the K1 event at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games but has since won four World Championship medals.

This includes two gold medals in the kayak cross and C1 team events while she also won silver in the C1 individual and bronze in the K1 team race.

Woods added: “Physically, I’m feeling really well and mentally also well, I’ve taken a lot of confidence from the races I’ve done recently and it’s just building on that.

“I’m looking forward to feeling that pressure and really enjoying it.

“I feel really comfortable, we’re going to Paris for a training camp before we actually head out there for the Games itself.

“The whole experience of Tokyo was a bit weird, I’m looking forward to making the most of what an Olympic Games should be like in Paris.”

And after a difficult experience at her first Olympics in Tokyo, Woods insists staying calm is her best route to a medal in Paris.

Woods said: “The hard work and the years of tears and hurt and hard sessions, to do it on a platform such as the Olympic Games shows I can do it under pressure.

“I’ve won medals before, it’s just about making sure I stay calm on the biggest stage and inspire people to take up the sport.”

Woods is racing in the women’s K1 and kayak cross events in Paris.

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