Beth Latham earns GB canoeing call

Beth Latham impressed in the kayak singles competition at Lee Valley

Beth Latham impressed in the kayak singles competition at Lee Valley

First published in Sport

Cononley’s Beth Latham has been named in the Great Britain under-23 canoe slalom squad.

The Bradford & Bingley Canoe Club member came fifth in the kayak women’s singles during the senior and under-23 selection trials at the Olympic venue of Lee Valley White Water Centre.

Lizzie Neave (109.28 points), who won all three selection races, and Louise Donington (114.75), were first and second and were nominated for the Olympic places alongside Fiona Pennie.

Natalie Wilson was third with 120 points but it was a close-run thing for the next three places in the standings.

Mallory Franklin was fourth with 160.22, Latham fifth on 163.80 and Laura Blakeman sixth with 164.09.

Latham, who has been selected at under-23 level alongside Wilson and Kimberley Woods, has always been considered more of a candidate for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

She is one of 16 young athletes who have been tipped to make their mark at those Games or Paralympics by Sport England and SportsAid. John Anderson, GB canoeing performance director said: “It is great to see some young athletes coming into the senior team.

“Also, the fact that we have been able to select a full team in each of the five classes at under-23 level is impressive.”

In canoe slalom, seen as a challenge in speed, agility and precision, competitors complete individual timed runs down a 300-metre white-water course containing up to 25 gates, made out of pairs of suspended poles.

Gates are painted green and white if downstream and red and white if upstream and at least six of the gates are required to be positioned upstream.

If you touch a gate, a two-second penalty is added to your overall finishing time. If you miss a gate altogether, 50 seconds is added to your finishing time.

The course must contain either natural or artificial obstacles, have constant change of water direction and must be navigable by kayak men in approximately 100 seconds.

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