This weekend,18 year old Jessica is competing in both the Junior Women’s K1 (kayak single) 1000m and 500m events and it looks like she is racing at her absolute best. Jessica stormed to win the heats in both the 500m and1000m events, bypassing the semis and going straight through to the finals. In the 1000m heat, Jessica won by an astonishing 13 seconds, in a time of 4min and 9sec, ahead of the next competitor, Hungary’s Anita Hagymasi.
Jessica lived up to all expectations and put in an exceptional performance today, winning in a time of 4.01.432, she was two full seconds ahead of the next closest competitor Germany’s Lisa Marie-Braun (4.03.754).
The Championships will be a great boost to her confidence and a good indication of things to come in Beijing.
In this summer’s Olympics, Jessica will be competing in the K2 (kayak double) 500m event with the more experienced canoeist and six time canoe Marathon World Champion, Anna Hemmings.
Jessica comments on her approaching Beijing experience;
“It is thrilling to be competing in my first games and I am looking forward to going to Beijing and experiencing the greatest sporting event in the world. I feel really lucky to have this opportunity, especially at such a young age as this experience will aid my development towards 2012.”
BCU World Class Olympic Podium Programmes Performance Director, John Anderson, comments on the Women’s K2 chances in Beijing;
“At 18 years old, Jessica is the youngest female to compete in Flatwater racing canoeing at an Olympics. Together the pair are certainly capable of reaching the finals."
Tomorrow 20th July is the 500m final and the question everyone is asking is, can Jessica make it a double?
Selected results so far:
Women’s Junior K1 1000m
1. GBR Jessica Walker 4.01.432
2. GER Lisa – Marie Braun 4.03.754
3. AUT Ana Roxana Lehaci 4.07.780
Full results visit http://results.mkksz.hu/en/timetable/
For in-depth analysis of the selection races visit the BCU World Class Olympic Podium Programmes and go to Flat Water Racing news -
For information on the British Canoe Union visit – www.bcu.org.uk
Jessica is one of the youngest members of the BCU’s Flatwater Racing squad, having succeeded at Junior level. She started paddling after being introduced to the sport by a friend, and went on to win two bronze medals in the world junior marathon championships and both a gold and a silver medal at junior European championship level. Born in Brighton, Jessica lived on the Isle of Wight for five years before moving to London. Outside canoeing her main hobby is running, and she used to represent her school’s borough at the sport. Now she is studying at Kings College London. Her aim in canoeing is to be an Olympic champion.
D.O.B: June 1990
Paddling Since: 2000
Occupation: Full time athlete
Preferred Class & Distance: WK1 500m
Club: Royal Canoe Club
Coach: Simon Miklos
Personal Bests: K1 500m 1.54
Supported by: World Class Olympic Podium Programmes
2007 World Championships 4th WK1 500m
2007 World Championships 4th WK21000m
2006 World Marathon Championships WK21st
2006 European Championships 6th WK2 500m
Junior European Championships 1st WK1 500m
Junior Europeans Championships 2nd WK2 1000m
Photography: Michael Bradley
USA Track and Field