Emma Wiggs MBE continued her fine start to the season by becoming double European Champion at the 2018 Paracanoe European Championships in Belgrade this weekend. Emma secured first place in both the Women’s KL2 and Va’a VL2 making her a five-time European Champion and taking her total medal haul at European Championships to seven.
She was part of a Great Britain team that finished top of the medal table at the event by some margin, with four golds, three silvers and a bronze.
Emma got her weekend off to the best start by powering through from lane eight to win the Va’a VL2 race in a time of 57.903, seven seconds faster than the winning time last year. This was an event that Emma had previously won in 2014 before focusing on her kayaking debut at the Paralympic Games in Rio. However, with the Va’a class back on the agenda for Tokyo 2020, Emma was delighted to make a winning return.
“I felt I hadn’t quite nailed the last part of the race but looking at the time I obviously did, so I am really pleased! I was hesitant about getting back in the Va’a, as it is a really technical boat, so to not just be competitive, but faster than I have ever gone before is down to the training we are doing as a programme.”
Check out the full race video by clicking here.
In her second race of the weekend, Emma retained her KL2 European Championship title in a time of 48.568, only the second ever sub 49 seconds time and 4.7 seconds faster than her Paralympic final in 2016. The race itself was dominated by Emma and her teammate Charlotte Henshaw, who finished just 0.43 seconds behind to retain her silver medal. This was Emma’s fifth European title and she was understandably excited about this achievement.
“I’m over the moon with the performance. Charlotte and I didn’t know who won when we crossed the line it was that close! It’s brilliant to win again and with a good time, especially as it is still early on in our plan. Our programme is working hard to always improve, and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of UK Sport.”
Check out the full race by clicking here.
You can read more about Britain’s impressive medal table topping performance at the Paracanoe European Championships by visiting www.britishcanoeing.org.uk