GALASHIELS paddler Alice Haining has made a tremendous start to the 2012 competition in canoe slalom by qualifying in top spot for the Great Britain junior team going to the World Championships in the USA.
Haining achieved two first places and a third in her qualifying competitions and, with the best two scores from the three competitions counting, as a result has won the number one boat position in the team of three representing GB at two major international events.
These are the European Junior Championships at Solkan in Slovenia, to be held in September, but before that Alice travels to the USA for the Junior World Championships at Wausau in Wisconsin, the site of many US Championship and World Cup events. The championship runs from July 11-15.
To get to this position, Haining has taken part in competitions held on artificial courses such as the World Championship site at Holme Pierrepont in Nottinghamshire, where she was third, going on from there to win both events at the newly-built artificial site at Cardiff Bay and taking first place again on the natural rapids at Grandtully on the River Tay in Perthshire.
The competitions often took place in conjunction with ranking races in the ladies’ premier category and consistent good placings in competitions throughout Scotland, England and Wales now see Haining holding the top spot in the unofficial UK ranking list for the early season. She will maintain this position as there are no more ranking races until September after the summer’s international events are finished.
All in all, this has been a great start to the competition season and sees the teenager earning the benefit of many years of hard work and training and looking forward to competing against the world’s best.
It’s quite a daunting prospect, but a challenge she can face with confidence.