Paracanoe: British paddlers win five world titles in Germany

Britain finished the paracanoe World Championships with five titles as Andrea Green won gold on the final day in Duisburg, Germany.

Jeanette Chippington won three golds in the space of an hour on Wednesday, with team-mate Emma Wiggs also victorious.

Chippington, 43, has competed at five Paralympic Games as a swimmer but made the switch to canoeing in 2011.

Both Wiggs and Green are recent converts from GB's London 2012 Paralympics sitting volleyball team.

Paracanoe will make its Paralympic debut at Rio 2016 with GB paracanoeists already regarded as world leaders.

In Wednesday's racing, Chippington successfully defended two world titles she picked up in 2012 and added a third, comfortably winning the K1 A class as well as the V1 A and TA classes.

How paracanoe works

  • Like canoe sprint, paracanoe involves straight-line paddling on flat water and the fastest finisher is the winner.
  • There are two types of boat: the Va'a (or V1, for one-person), which is based on a Tahitian kayak with an outrigger, and the K1 kayak, which is almost identical to the boats raced by able-bodied athletes.
  • Athletes in paracanoe fall into three classifications: A, TA and LTA. A stands for arms and refers to athletes who only have significant use of their arms; TA refers to the trunk and arms, and is the class for athletes who have significantly impaired use of lower limbs; and LTA involves the legs, trunk and arms, and is for athletes whose disability still allows them some leg function.

"I feel pretty done in now," the 12-time Paralympic swimming medallist told BBC Sport after her golden hour on the Duisburg course.

"It's a fantastic achievement and I couldn't do it without the support and help of my coach, husband, children and family.

"It's a team effort but when you're out there at the start it's very, very lonely. The medals at the end of it make it all worthwhile."

Wiggs held off the challenge of the United States' Megan Blunk to win the K1 TA class.

"I didn't know when I crossed the line whether I'd got it or not," said the 33-year-old from Hertfordshire.

"It felt like a really good race and the bonus of crossing the line first is just incredible. I can't quite believe it."

Wiggs, like Maidenhead-based Chippington, recently transferred into canoeing from another disability sport. She had previously captained the British sitting volleyball team at London 2012.

"A year ago today, I was getting ready for the opening ceremony," she said.

"That was an incredible experience but this was out of this world."

British paddlers look set to dominate at Rio 2016 if they maintain their current form, and Chippington said Paralympic ambition was on her mind.

"You don't want to wish your life away but you think 'if only it was next year'," she said. "I'll keep working hard at it and chipping away at my times."

In the men's races, Nick Heald took silver and Dan Hopwood bronze.

Heald finished behind Spain's Javier Reja in the V1 TA class, while Hopwood was upgraded to V1 A bronze after the disqualification of Brazil's Luis Cardoso da Silva for leaving his lane.

In Thursday's racing, Britain's Anne Dickins won silver in the women's K1 200m LTA as GB remained on top of the paracanoe medal table. Dickins narrowly edged out France's Cindy Moreau for silver, behind Canadian paddler Christine Gauthier.

On Friday, Gauthier could not match Green in the women's V1 200m LTA final, which the Briton won by almost two seconds.

Ian Marsden took silver for Britain in the men's K1 200m A class, behind Brazil's Fernando Fernandes de Padua.