Bethan Kelly fifth in GB University Championships

Bethan Kelly in action during her run in the British University Canoe Slalom Championship at Teesside International White Water Course.
Bethan Kelly in action during her run in the British University Canoe Slalom Championship at Teesside International White Water Course.

Bethan Kelly clinched two top-five finishes to help Durham to fifth place at the British Universities Canoe Slalom Championship.

The Hartlepool kayak paddler was fifth in the Women’s K1 division at Tees Barrage International White Water course and finished third in the team run with colleagues Molly Agar and Chloe Ellerton.

Durham University finished fifth overall in the 27-team tournament behind Loughborough, Newcastle, Nottingham and Nottingham Trent.

“The weather was lousy but the event was a success,” said the 19-year-old.

“Some of Britain’s best paddlers were competing at the Barrage and there was some good racing. I was pleased with the points I contributed and all the team raced well.”

The Tees Tigers slalom ace was fifth in the individual women’s race won by Netherlands international, Maartje Otten, who studies at Nottingham University.

Kelly was beaten by four Women’s Premier rivals, Gabrielle Ridge (Wales Trinity St David) and Nottingham University’s Amy Hollick and Hannah Bailey.

The former High Tunstall College of Science and Hartlepool Sixth Form College student clocked 119.8 seconds in her first run, finishing three seconds behind Bailey.

But she was pleased with her performance in an event which had 72 racing.

“I was happy with my first run,” she said. “Maartje is an incredible paddler and Amy, Gabby and Hannah are all ranked in the top 10 in the Premier League.”

Kelly, who finished 37th in the Premier League table in 2016, was third in the team race with Agar and Ellerton, the trio finishing in the bronze position with Nottingham and Nottingham Trent ahead of them.

Bethan added her thanks to her coaches and backers.

“I’d like to thank Allan McDermott from Tees Active Academy, for all his incredible support, plus Tees Valley Future Champions, Ray Liddell from Cactus Products, Tees Valley Future Champions, Hartlepool Sports Council and John Hansell from Fibre Lyte.”