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Slalom canoeist Chris Bowers set to compete on world stage

19-year-old will paddle for Great Britain at the World Cup final and World Championships in September

Slalom Canoeist and University of East London (UEL) sports scholar Chris Bowers is set to make waves in his sport as he embarks on the biggest month of his career.

Having qualified for the senior Great Britain team for the first time this year by winning the British Canoe Slalom Selection Series, the 19-year-old will be competing for his country at the World Cup final and World Championships this month.

After enjoying a successful season, Chris is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and making sure he focuses on the simple things ahead of the two big meets.

“For me, I’m managing my expectations,” said Chris. “I haven’t changed as a paddler and that’s the key into maintaining this success. I just need to deliver how I deliver and the results will take care of themselves.”

Chris will firstly compete at the World Cup final in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain, on September 8-10 before heading to Pau, France, for the World Championships from 27 September to 1 October.

The Accounting and Finance student explained how he has adapted his training ahead of those events, including getting in some practice runs on the course in Pau.

“I’m doing well on the water, starting to get into more of a feel of racing and getting ready to post some decent speeds,” he said.

“I’m ready for racing in Spain and I’ll look to carry that momentum through to the Worlds too.”

Originally from Stoke on Trent, Chris joined UEL in 2016, allowing him study while training at the nearby Lee Valley White Water Centre, the home of the canoe slalom competition at the London 2012 Olympics.  

This has seen Chris quickly develop into an international class paddler at senior level and he is fully appreciative of everything UEL has done for him so far.

“UEL has allowed me to focus on my training and not have to stress about university,” he said. “I’ll be going into the Worlds not worrying about my timetable and what I’m doing. Things have been made very flexible for me.

“I’ve always had a quick response with things and anything I’ve needed has always been delivered. I’d recommend it to anyone.”