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Latham is fourth in World Championships
Beth Latham surpassed her expectations to finish agonisingly close to a medal in the International Canoe Federation’s Under-23 Junior World Championships.
The Cononley girl’s ambition stretched no further than making the top 15 at Wausau in Wisconsin.
But, after things went exceptionally well, she came seventh in her semi-final, which put her into the final top ten.
And she had the race of her life to be only two seconds off a bronze medal in fourth.
Latham also picked up a team silver medal – her first at under-23 level – as part of the Great Britain squad.
The 19-year-old said: “I was really happy with my position.
“I didn’t expect to make the final in my first year in the under-23s, so coming fourth was a nice shock.”
Latham’s display showed her potential for future success at major events. The Bradford & Bingley Canoe Club member is one of 16 young athletes who have been tipped to make their mark at the 2016 Rio Olympics by Sport England and SportsAid.
But the Loughborough University pupil is keeping her feet on the ground.
She said: “It was nice to do well but I’ve got to stay level-headed and not get ahead of myself.”
Latham was at Olympic venue Lea Valley yesterday to give a demonstration run for the 2012 competitors.
She said: “It was really exciting to perform in front of a massive crowd and a great experience.”
The teenager will be riverside watching the women’s canoeing when the Olympic action gets underway.