36 37 >> ©Kim Jones Q: What were your 2017 targets, and would you say you have achieved your year’s goals or maybe even exceeded them? M: “I am not really someone that has outcome related targets. I think that canoeing is one of those sports when you can be in your best form ever and if it just doesn’t come out on the one run that matters and that’s it, your race is over. “I cannot speak to whether the other competitors after me where affected by the time I did but I was really happy to have done that run and come away with the result I did.” “For my 2017 season I was hoping to build on last year and keep aiming to get as close to my plan the whole way down as possible. I had the opportunity to do this in both my boats having made the team for the first time in K1 and that really helped giving me more chances to do this and learn from every run. I would definitely say that I have far exceeded what I would have been hoping for this year, to come away with both C1 World titles and three 4th place finishes in K1 is crazy!” Q: The British squad spent a good amount of time out in Pau - learning the course, how important was that and did it reflect in the standard of paddling produced by British athletes in this year’s World Championships? M: “We did, I think we had about five and a half weeks out there in total including the race lead in. As a team I think we really embraced this opportunity, and took every chance we could to learn and understand the course out in Pau, which is not one of the easiest places to paddle. philhutchinsonphotography.net/ / Phil Hutchinson philhutchinsonphotography.net/ / Phil Hutchinson “I think this showed with the number of really good runs produced by our athletes, including winning the qualification rounds of 3/4 classes we competed in alongside Fiona also wining the Semi- Final in the women K1. I think it was a really good incentive by the team and something that I believe is really useful for the athletes to be in a good a state as possible when sitting on the start line.” canoephotography.com / Balint Vekassy (ICF) Q: Next year’s World Championships is in Rio, where British Slalom paddlers had a successful time in 2016, do you think this can continue in 2018 with the strength of British paddlers at the moment? M: “Yes, I think we have really good strength in depth across all our classes, with all the senior boats easily capable of finaling at a senior level and this is only getting stronger. We are all building off this as a team and pushing for better and better results as the races go on, so I can’t wait to see what we do at the Worlds next year.” Q: From the World Championships came your nomination for BT Sport Action Woman of the Year 2017, how proud of you to receive the nomination and does it say something for the recognition of canoeing? M: “I am so happy to have received the nomination, I have had a really good year and for this to come out on top of that is amazing! It is great for both me and the sport to be recognised, it allows me to show off the sport and how great it is and hopefully get more people involved, alongside hopefully allowing more people to see the success we have within our sport and the amazing sportsmen and women that do amazing things on a regular basis!” Q: Looking ahead to 2018, are you hoping to make that two time World Champion or would you say it is more about looking at your performances on the water? M: “Of course that would be amazing, but it’s the nature of our sport that anything can happen on the day. There are so many factors both in and out of your control that you just have to focus on what you can control, the processes of how you get yourself into a position to be able to put it all out there and do the best run you could have done on that day.” This is sometimes quite difficult when there is the noise of the crowd and the commentary letting you know what’s going on during every second of the runs of every competitor before you. Going off first eliminates this added distraction and allows you to be fully focused on yourself, this massively helped me out as I am quite observant and tend to hear the commentary and read in to it, this is something that I will definitely be working on in the future.