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2018 European and World paracanoe Champion focused on Tokyo

2018 European and World paracanoe Champion focused on Tokyo 8.1.2019

The season 2018 was fantastic for Swedish parakayaker Helene Ripa. She first picked up a gold medal at European Championships and later added another title to her collection at World Championships. Successful sportswoman now wishes to win a medal at Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Helene Ripa won everything that was possible in the previous year – the European Champion title in Belgrade, Serbia, and World Champion title in Montemor-o-Velho, Portugal. In an interview for paralympic.org she talked about her two gold medals from 2018 as well as her goals for the 2020 Paralympic Games.
A 47-year-old paddler is a very successful sportswoman, who does not only excel in paracanoeing but in other sports as well. Helene started her sporting career in swimming, tried herself in mountain bike orienteering and had excellent results in cross-country skiing. At the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games she won a gold medal in the 15 kilometres cross-country skiing race and added a silver medal from the 4 x 2,5 km mixed relay.
With two medals from the Winter Paralympic Games in her pocket she wished to add another medal from the Summer Paralympics to her collection, “Of course that would mean a lot. It is the ultimate proof that you have what it takes. To crown my sports career with a Summer Paralympics medal in addition to the medals I already have on the winter side and in the canoe would be amazing! I look forward to making this trip and to see how far I can go. Hopefully all the way to the top.”
Looking at her past results she will be one of the strongest contenders for the medal in Japan. She produced a superb race last June in Serbia to win the European Champion title in women’s KL3 event. “It gave me confidence. Not just the win itself, but the way I did it. I was the first athlete out of the starting gates and I kept, and increased, that distance all the way to the finish line. It was then I realised that all the hard training and focus that I had put in over the last years really had made a difference,” she said for paralympic.org.
The role of a reigning European Champion put her into the spotlight at the World Championships where she won in exciting final ahead of a multiple world championships medallist Amanda Reynolds from Australia. About her World Championships performance Helene said, “I don’t remember much from the race itself. It was more a feeling that I really gave it all! The first paddle after the start was not my best, but after that it was all about focus. Focus on the finish line, straight ahead and nothing else. I got a bit tired at the end and did not paddle as well as I wished. I had no idea who had won when I passed the finish line. I saw that Amanda was right with me, but I could not possibly decide which of us was first.”



Source: https://www.paralympic.org/news/portugal-2018-helene-ripa-hungry-more?fbclid=IwAR3FoAmbghHBRA-_M1emRmLkwhP-7VtFposLoKbl1SHM5fL1VrSfr83JMgU