World championships place for under 23s paddler Emily Lewis

Malvern Gazette: WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: For Malvern's Emily Lewis. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: For Malvern's Emily Lewis.

MALVERN paddler Emily Lewis has enjoyed a successful spell after qualifying for the Under 23s Canoe Sprint World Championships.

She competed at the National Under 23s Championships at Nottingham's Holme Pierrepont Watersports Centre and the European Sprint Under 23s Championships near Paris, France.

From the nationals, Lewis returned with a host of medals, taking gold in both singles and doubles over 200 metres and in the fours over 500m.

The 21-year-old also bagged silver over 500m in the singles and doubles bronze over the same distance.

She was selected to race her favourite discipline, the 200m singles, at the European equivalent along with the 500m fours.

In France, Lewis was up against 27 different nations. After racing individual heats and semi-finals, she made the 'A' final within the top nine boats.

Lewis gave the final everything from the start, gaining a new personal best of 42.872 seconds and crossing the line in sixth place.

On the morning before, she raced in the 500m fours where her crew placed seventh and recorded a pb of one minute 39.196 seconds.

Her European displays secured her place in the team racing the same distances at the world championships, which starts next Thursday.

Lewis, who has been sponsored by McDonald's and carpet shop Hurrell Of Malvern, has travelled to Szeged, Hungary, for a two-week training camp in preparation for the biggest races of the year.

She was joined by fellow Worcester Canoe Club paddler William Bird, who is competing over 200m in the under 18s doubles category.

Sponsorship allowed Lewis to buy a new top-class racing boat to put her on an equal footing with other competitors.

She is seeking more sponsors to support travel and competition costs.

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