LLANDYSUL’S Gabi Ridge was part of the Great Britain team that finished the ICF Junior and U23 Canoe Slalom World Championships in Bratislava with a gold and two silvers on the final day of competition.
20-year old Ridge, competing for Team GB for the first time, combined with Mallory Franklin (Windsor & District), Kimberley Woods (Rugby), to win silver in the women’s K1 team final.
Britain’s junior C1 team narrowly missed a medal after they were moved down from third to fourth following a late change to the final results. That they were just one place off the podium emphasises the country’s strength in this new Olympic event.
The trio had finished third before 50 seconds of penalties were added to Slovakia’s score and GB moved up to second place, a big step up from sixth place last year.
Kimberley Woods said: “I’m pretty pleased to get on the podium in kayak. Mal and I have raced together so many times and we are so familiar with each other’s routines.
“It’s just adding that extra person and letting them know how it works. Gabi raced really well and she should be very happy with a good run.”
Ridge admitted to feeling some nerves at partnering the top international pair but they gave her advice and she kept her cool.
“To race my first under 23 World Championships with Mal and Kim who are both very successful paddlers was an incredible experience,” she said.
“Both of them kept telling me I was capable of doing a good run and, whatever happens, to keep going. It was the mentality I took in and it paid off.”
British Canoeing Podium Potential Lead Coach, Greg Hitchen, said: “Overall it’s been a very positive championships.
“With eight finals spanning each Olympic class we have a strong foundation upon which to build.
“Mallory Franklin leaves her final U23 Worlds with both individual and team World Championship titles in C1W and a silver medal in the K1W team. This is a superb feat.
“Kimberley Woods also achieved three medals with an individual bronze in C1W and team gold and silver continuing her excellent 2017.
“Coming home with three team medals finished off a successful championship.
“We look forward to re-focusing and heading out to the Euros in August.”