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Jessica Walker announced her retirement

Jessica Walker announced her retirement 19.11.2020

Jessica Walker has announced retirement from competitive sport. In her career she participated at three Olympic Games and won medals at World and European Championships.

30-year-old British Sprint kayaker Jessica Walker has decided to end her sporting career after the postponement of the Tokyo Olympic Games. "It’s been a huge privilege to represent Great Britain and Team GB and I am really proud of the career I have had as a full-time athlete. I have been competing in the World Class team for 14 years and it has been life changing. I have spent a lot of time over the summer months reflecting on my career and I now feel the time is right to retire from the sport and focus on new and exciting opportunities. I was really tempted to go for Tokyo qualification and I would have loved to compete in a fourth Olympic Games, but the postponement gave me time to reassess and I feel now is the time to hang up the paddle," she said.
Jessica started paddling at the age of 10 and at 16 celebrated Junior Canoe Marathon World Champion title in K2 together with Louisa Sawers. She has also won Canoe Sprint Junior European Champion titles in 2007 and 2008.
She has also qualified for Team GB to represent Great Britain at three Olympic Games. In 2008, she travelled to Beijing to become the youngest ever British female canoeist competing at Olympics. In K2 500m she finished 17th. Four years later in London she won 7th place in K1 200m event and was 5th in K4 500m final. In Rio de Janeiro she was 15th in K1 200m event and paddled in the final of the K4 500m event.
Jess claimed two European Championships medals, silver in the K1 200m in 2016 at Moscow and bronze in the K2 200m with Angela Hannah in 2014 at Brandenburg. She has also won several medals at World Cup races.
Looking back at her career she said, "Paddling has brought so many amazing moments and I have made some incredible friends along the way. Competing at the London 2012 Olympic Games was a really special moment, I can’t describe what it is like to race at a home Games. My first Games in Beijing at just 18 years old was really exciting. The people you train with and the friendships you make along the way is really special, everyone I trained with day in day out played a big part in my career. I just love the sport, the feeling of being out on the water and just the fantastic places it takes you across the world. I would really like to thank UK Sport and The National Lottery because all this wouldn’t have been possible without them."

Source and photo: https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news/2020/three-time-olympian-jess-walker-announces-retirement-from-the-sport