CANOE Slalom star Kimberley Woods has her sights firmly set on the World Championships later this year after becoming women’s singles European Champion in Germany.
The 19-year-old was crowned European Champion in the women’s canoe single (C1W) category at the Markkleeberg course near Leipzig last weekend.
Woods was in commanding form in both the semi-final and the final to take top spot from team-mate Mallory Franklin by nearly three seconds.
It was her best European result by some margin having finished sixth in 2013 which shows just how far the talented slalom star has come to rise to the highest level of the sport within the space of just two years.
Her impressive first place finish comes just two months after she claimed Bronze at the Under-23 World Championships in Brazil back in April.
“I am really happy,” said an ecstatic Rugby-born Woods, who is currently studying sports science at the University of Hertfordshire.
“I knew I had the skills and the speed to do well here, but it is a very technical course and any one of the ten girls in the final could have won.
“The course in Markkleeberg is a bit more inconsistent than Lee Valley but I kept the boat running really well, particularly on the trickiest areas of the course and I think that’s what won it for me.”
Woods also won Bronze in the C1W team event in Germany with Mallory Franklin and Eilidh Gibson.
And for the first time at senior level, she also doubled to contest in the women’s kayak single (K1W) qualifying where she achieved a personal best in the semi-finals but she finishes 11th overall and just missed out on the cut for the final.
The next target for Woods is the World Championships which are being held at the Lee Valley White Water Centre, which should should provide her with a slight advantage over her rivals.
She added: “I just love white water and training on Lee Valley sets me up well to be really technical and then it’s just a matter of transferring the skills.
“After missing out on the British senior team last year, I have had such a confidence boost from British team selections at Easter, then winning a medal at Under-23 Worlds and now becoming European Champion.
“I hope I can build on this and go on to do well at our home World Championships at Lee Valley in September.”