By Hannah Blackwell
Welsh para star Laura Sugar admits she was unsure she would continue her dominance at the Para-canoe World Championships held in Duisburg, Germany.
Sugar secured her third consecutive world title to continue her grip on the KL3 category where she was the clear favorite to win.
Exhibiting her strength, she triumphed in the final race with a remarkable time of 45.418 seconds, leaving France’s Nelia Barbosa trailing behind by a margin of one and a half seconds.
In the men’s KL3 event, Jack Eyers displayed an impressive performance, earning a silver medal.
Both Great Britain athletes secured Paralympic boat quota spots for next summer’s Paralympic Games in Paris.
Laura Sugar MBE made it a hat trick of paracanoe KL3 world titles today with compatriot Jack Eyers winning VL3 silver to wrap up the ICF Canoe Sprint and Paracanoe World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.
— British Canoeing (@BritishCanoeing) August 27, 2023
Sugar said: “It’s incredible, you plan to try and go as fast as you can but you don’t know what else everyone is going to do.
“I didn’t think about the title, I just wanted to come out here and show everyone what I’ve been doing in training.
“I was really nervous about the race today, the two-day wait between heats and finals was hard so I’m really happy to put that race together and get the result.
“Every year is a fresh slate, just because you’ve won before doesn’t mean you’re entitled to win again so for me, it’s about doing my best and going my fastest. So, I’m delighted that came with a world title today.
“There was some added pressure of qualifying the quota place but I must admit, I had nothing on my mind other than just focus on my lane and race but it’s nice to have that job ticked off. It takes some pressure off next year and hopefully as a team we can get as many as possible.”
VL3 world champion Hope Gordon finished in fourth place in the same event, but was happy with how she raced after a long weekend of racing.
“Fourth is never the best place to finish but that was a good race, I came out here to have fun and race the best in the world. It was weird, I was the only one on the start line who raced in both boats and it definitely took it out of me,” she said.
“That event is getting faster and closer with each competition, there are a few of us pushing each other on and that’s what it’s all about, making us all better.”