There has been a big change in Great Britain as Paralympic medallist Charlotte Henshaw announced she will be switching from swimming to canoeing going forward, she announced on Tuesday.
Hernshaw won a silver medal in London and a bronze medal in Rio for the 100m breaststroke SB6 and this week confirmed her retirement from the sport. In Rio she was identified by British Canoeing as a prospect and has now joined their Talent Confirmation Programme.
Having started swimming at the age of four, Hernshaw has been a competitive swimmer for the past ten years. In her swimming career, beyond the two Paralympic medals she has the European record for the 100m breaststroke SB6 which she is a two time European champion in.
“When I returned from Rio I took a few months away from the pool to really focus on where I wanted to be over the next few years,” said Hernshaw to the British Paralympic Association. “I came to the decision that, while I still have aspirations and goals in sport, I have reached the point where I feel I need to take on a new sporting challenge.”
This is not Hernshaw’s first time entering canoeing, she started canoeing at the end of 2016, while taking a break from swimming following Rio. She has already raced in the sport, having entered the 2017 National Regatta Series and is looking to qualify for the European Championships.
Hernshaw will be a groundbreaker in canoeing, which made its debut at Rio 2016 with Great Britain being a dominant force winning five medals, three of them gold, in six events. Should Hernshaw meet her goal she will compete in her fourth Paralympic Games, a rare feet for any athlete.