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UEL sports scholar Chris Bowers has his eye on Tokyo 2020

Chris is looking forward to the year ahead

By Robson Friend

University of East London (UEL) sports scholar Chris Bowers remains on track for Olympic Games selection in two years’ time after being chosen for both the senior and under-23 GB canoe slalom squads for this summer’s international series.

Chris, who currently trains at the Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire while studying at UEL, will be returning to represent his nation on the water once again after making his international debut in 2017. 

The 19-year-old is studying for his undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance while preparing to compete for Britain at the 2018 World Championships, European Championships and World Cup series.

He said, “To be selected for both teams again is a great honour. Being able to race for my country at both senior and under-23 level means I have a really exciting year ahead of me with so many new opportunities for me to race against the world’s best. I feel both privileged and excited now to lead into a long summer of racing all around the globe.”

Competing in the individual kayak K1 class, Chris has earmarked the upcoming events as the ideal opportunity to book his place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

He said, “With the Olympics fast approaching, I am feeling as confident as I can coming into the selection series, as I still have another full winter of training and I am still learning huge amounts both about myself and about the sport.

“My plan is pretty simple: it’s to be clear on what I want to achieve every day between now and the Olympics and not wasting any sessions on or off the water as well as gaining as much knowledge from everybody around me whilst I’m doing it, with clear goals on the Olympic selection and then hopefully the Olympics as well.”

Since joining the UEL sports scholarship programme in 2016, Chris has flourished both as an athlete and a student. 

He said, “UEL has not only helped me develop as the athlete I am by supporting my move down here it has enabled me to train full time and also pursue academic studies. I am currently studying accounting and finance and enjoying it as well as making new friends at the university.”