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


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.

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.”

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *