Saffron Walden's Sugar sets record at World Championships
PUBLISHED: 15:46 22 August 2019
Nerves were overcome emphatically by Saffron Walden's Laura Sugar after a perfect start to the Paracanoe World Championships.
The KL3 para-canoeist eased straight into Friday's final after winning her heat in 46.86 seconds, setting a new world record in her maiden World Championships in the sport.
Sugar is no stranger to elite competition, already a European medallist in para athletics and so far flourishing in her bid to juggle both sports.
But switching the spikes for the paddle proved no easy feat for the 28-year-old, one she overcame in style on the waters of Szeged.
"I'm really happy, that was tough. I felt wobbly and at halfway I was alongside a couple of other people, so I knew at that point I had to fight," she said.
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"I dug in deep, got my head down and won it, so I'm very happy with that. There are a couple of things to sort - my grip was melting in the heat but I'm happy to get straight through to the final.
"To not paddle my best but still win makes me happy.
"This is my first World Championships, I know I've been there in athletics but this is all new. I've not had that many races in my career so I was really nervous coming into it.
"I was just trying to shake that off all day, and I'm a lot more confident now that I've got that one under my belt.
"When I'm nervous I produce my best, I always know I embrace it and that it brings out the best of me - I'm just lacking the confidence in bringing out the perfect race right at this moment."
*British Canoeing is the national governing body for paddlesports in the UK. Their purpose is to: Inspire people to pursue a passion for paddling; for health, enjoyment, friendship, challenge and achievement. Find out more on britishcanoeing.org.uk.