MALVERN’S Emily Lewis returned in style after two seasons out of racing with a major medal.
The 21-year-old, who paddles for Worcester Canoe Club, announced she was back at the first kayak sprint regatta of the season and senior national championships in Nottingham.
Having spent eight months rebuilding fitness and strength, Lewis showed she still has the potential to impress at a high level in the 200-metre race.
Quick out of the blocks, the former Great Britain youth international held her own and took sixth place ahead of members of the eight-woman national squad.
Lewis was close behind paddlers who were selected from the race to compete in the upcoming World Cup Series.
She went on to take the silver medal in the senior women’s 200m doubles race with Hayleigh Mason, of Nottingham. Lewis was one of only two women who made the times necessary to be considered for the Under 23s European and World Championships, which she has set her sights on.
As a result of the successful regatta, she was selected to travel to Portugal to train with the GB junior and under 23s team.
Joining her was William Bird, also of the Worcester club, who won the boys’ under 18s 200m contest in Nottingham and raced above his age group in the senior men’s doubles.
Lewis, a former St Mary’s Worcester Girls’ School pupil, has reached the level supporting herself through working as a canoeing coach.
With the demands of training, she struggles to afford the costs of travel, entry and equipment.
Lewis would welcome anyone interested in providing sponsorship or support to help her quest to compete at world championship and Olympic level.