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Saturday, September 21, 2019

Edwalton’s Nikita Setchell wins gold on international canoe debut after racing the final twice


Nikita Setchell from Edwalton won the Junior Canoe Slalom European Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Nikita has just left Rushcliffe School Sixth Form, after receiving her A level results (good results) whilst the competition was going on.

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She is starting at the University of Nottingham in September this year.

The Great Britain team showed real strength in qualifying an athlete for all four finals on the last day of the Canoe Slalom Junior and U23 European Championships in Bratislava.

Nikita, who squeezed into this afternoon’s K1W final in tenth spot, was first off in the final, getting to gate 13 where a pole was missing.

She carried on before her race was stopped at gate 16.

Twenty minutes later she was back composed on the start line for a re-run and the last competitor to go.

Astonishingly she finished the run not only fastest but almost three seconds ahead of the second placed Eva Alina Hovecar of Slovenia.

“We do three or four runs close together when we’re training so it’s exactly the same and I knew I could do another run, I know I’m physically able to,” said Nikita who turned 18 the day before heading out to the competition.

“Before my re-run I tried not to listen to the results of the girls before me and I didn’t even know what was happening until I’d finished and crossed the finishing line.”

‘I didn’t even realise I was first until everyone jumped in the water on top of me’

Coached by Ian Raspin at Nottingham where her family moved to three years ago so she could train at Holme Pierrepont, Setchell had missed junior team selection by just one point and was reserve before Beth Forrow gave up her place.

Combined with learning this week she had got a good set of A level results, things could not be better.

“The team medal on Friday helped because I didn’t expect to come away with anything,” said Setchell whose best result before this week had been third place in a Premier event.

“After the team medal I thought I knew I had achieved something and it just built up my confidence.

“This was my first international race and it’s been amazing to get this opportunity.”

K1W Jnr
Nikita Setchell (Holme Pierrepont) – Semi Final 10th, Final 1st GOLD
Lily Bryant (Llandysul Paddlers) – Semi Final 16th


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