Robinson-Shaw proves dreams can come true

British teenager Ottilie Robinson-Shaw went to bed Friday night dreaming of winning a world title, and on Saturday it became reality when she won junior women’s gold at her first attempt at the 2017 ICF Freestyle Kayak World Championships in San Juan, Argentina.

16-year-old Robinson-Shaw took the lead early over defending champion, USA’s Sage Donnelly, and had a nervous wait with the American having the last ride of the competition.

But Donnelly was unable to overhaul Robinson-Shaw’s 553.33, giving a disbelieving Brit the world title.

“It’s amazing, I feel like everyone is lying to me,” Robinson-Shaw said.

“They weren’t my strongest rides, but I’m happy, especially as it’s my first worlds.”

Donnelly finished with 483.33, with fellow American, Olivia McGinnis, third with 283.33.

Robinson-Shaw said waiting for the afternoon final to start felt like an eternity.

“I’ve been pacing up and down, feeling so bored,” she said.

“Someone sent me a message last night telling me just to go to bed dreaming about what you want to achieve, and here I am.

“I didn’t think I could win gold until Sage had done her final run. I had no idea if her run was really strong, but we’ve been pushing each other.

“I was watching Sage but I wasn’t paying too much attention, because it made me more nervous.”

Robinson-Shaw started in the sport as an 11-year-old, inspired by the daughter of a local kayak coach who had competed at a World Championships.

Pic by Peter Holcombe

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