Wiggs on a mission at Paracanoe World Championships


Wiggs on a mission at Paracanoe World Championships

She may currently hold the full set of major international titles but don’t be fooled into thinking para-canoeist Emma Wiggs is done with her lot and will be slowing down anytime soon.

A sitting volleyball player at London 2012, Wiggs switched to paracanoeing in the aftermath of those home Games, and has gone on to establish herself as a powerhouse on the water.

Last September she won gold in the KL2 class as paracanoeing made its Paralympic Games debut in Rio, while in July she added a third European title to her name.

But when it comes to gold medals, Wiggs' biggest successes to date have come at World Championship level, winning the K1 title on the last four occasions.

That record will be on the line this week when the 2017 Paracanoe Sprint World Championships take place in Racice, starting on Wednesday.

But at 37, Wiggs’ passion for the sport burns as bright as ever.

Wiggs on a mission at Paracanoe World Championships

“It would have been very easy for me after Rio to sit back and admire all the medals that I have won and all that I have achieved,” she said.

“The easy option would have been to hang up my paddle but I know that I can be faster and as long as I believe that I will continue.

“I know that I can be faster than I was in Rio. The sport is so dependent on the weather, sometimes you can be faced with really tricky weather and it’s just not possible to go as fast as you want.But I know it’s still possible to go faster.

 It’s exciting to see the sport progress, we’ve got a great group of young athletes coming through and they push you on and on. Emma Wiggs

Wiggs’ path to the 2017 World Championships has been far from smooth, despite her European success this year.

Injuries have been an unfortunate occurrence with a broken finger in particular keeping her out of action for a significant period while she also suffered rib and elbow problems.

But they have all made her just as determined to deliver the goods for her and the team.

“This is a building year, we’ve done a lot of work in the gym, building ourselves up in preparation to start on the road to Tokyo,” she added.

“It’s going to be exciting to see how we do at the World Championships.

“It’s been a tough year for me, I had three quite serious injuries which saw me miss some training.

“With my finger I was unable to paddle for eight weeks so I’ve been playing catch up. But to come out the other side and be here for the Championships, it means a lot to me.

“I could not be more chuffed with the fact that I have got here and I’m just excited to get going.”