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Tokyo Paralympics: Charlotte Henshaw caps fine day on the water for Great Britain with kayak gold

Tokyo Paralympics: Charlotte Henshaw caps fine day on the water for Great Britain with kayak gold

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orld canoeing champion Charlotte Henshaw completed a full set of Paralympic medals after winning the battle of the Brits by powering to glory ahead of defending title holder Emma Wiggs in Tokyo.

The 34-year-old former swimmer added KL2 kayak gold to SB6 breaststroke silver and bronze – claimed in London and Rio respectively – on another magnificent morning for Great Britain at Sea Forest Waterway.

Ex-sprinter Laura Sugar also claimed gold on Saturday, winning the women’s KL3 competition, while there was VL3 bronze for Stuart Wood in the men’s events.

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Mansfield-born Henshaw has taken the sport by storm since switching from the pool in early 2017 and continued her remarkable progress by completing the 200m straight line in a personal best time of 50.760 seconds.

Team-mate Wiggs was just 0.649secs off the pace as her Rio crown passed into the hands of her compatriot.

“I didn’t switch sports to win a gold medal but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to complete the set,” said 34-year-old Henshaw, who had both legs amputated above the knee aged 18 months after she was born with bilateral tibial hypoplasis.

“It’s lovely with a bronze and a silver but it looks much better with one of each colour.

“You always dream about it, you have to otherwise you wouldn’t put yourself through this. It was a cracking race and Emma is such a fearsome competitor, she’s won everything. She never gives in.”

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Henshaw called time on her swimming career, which began at Beijing 2008, after falling out of love with training.

Five years ago she had never sat in a kayak but swiftly developed a passion for paracanoe as she searched for a way to prolong her sporting career.

Her headline-grabbing performance came just nine months since undergoing surgery for endometriosis, a condition where tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places, such as the ovaries and fallopian tubes.

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