Golden girl is a world-beating kayaker

SUPERSTAR paddler Claire O’Hara from Leeds has become the most successful female freestyle kayaker in the sport’s history.

Friday, 13th September 2013, 1:01 am
Claire OHara. Picture: Steven McBride

The former Leeds Metropolitan University student won two gold medals at the 2013 World Freestyle Kayaking Championships in the United States at the weekend.

And the Great Britain star successfully defended both her two World Champion titles at the championships in North Carolina.

The 31-year-old, from Meanwood, defended her squirt boating world title for the third time. And she also defended her freestyle kayak world title to bring her World Gold medal haul to five.

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O’Hara, who was named Sportswoman of the Year at the 2012 Leeds Sports Awards, wrote on her blog: “I have just doubled the double and it feels unreal. This weekend I competed in the World Freestyle Kayaking Championships and defended my two World Champion titles.”

She added: “Thank you to everyone who made this event possible all the organisers, officials, staff, volunteers, friends, family, athletes, sponsors and supporters. This was a World Championships that will not be forgotten.”

O’Hara is due to arrive back in the UK today to start training for the 2013 British Championships event at the National Water Sports Centre in Nottingham on September 21 and 22.

O’Hara started competing competitively in freestyle kayaking in 2001 and made the British team in 2006 before excelling in international competitions. She is currently a predominantly self-funded athlete and works as a freelance outdoor instructor to earn the money she needs to train and compete in events across the globe. She is seeking financial sponsorship to help her continue to train and compete in a bid to keep her at the top of her sport. Anyone who may be able to help with sponsorship can email: [email protected]