Motherwell kayak star Deborah Kerr reveals her joy at reaching Olympic final

Motherwell kayak star Deborah Kerr has revealed her satisfaction at qualifying for the 200m sprint kayak singles final on her Olympics debut.

Deborah Kerr in kayaking action

Former Dalziel High School pupil Kerr, 23, qualified in fourth spot in the eight-competitor semi-final in Tokyo on Tuesday morning before finishing eighth in the ‘A’ final, as hot favourite Lisa Carrington from New Zealand landed a third straight gold medal in the event.

“I am delighted with reaching the final in my first Olympic Games,” Kerr said.

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“It was always going to be a tough final to get into, so I am really proud to have made it.

“This year the 200 has been my strongest event, but I definitely back myself for the 500 as well.

“It’s just amazing. It’s not where I imagined to be a couple of years ago.”

Kerr and her best friend Emily Lewis are competing in the K1 500m event, with the heats having started in the early hours of this morning, Wednesday.

Kerr – who is studying for a sports science degree at Manchester Metropolitan University – has previously revealed how her preparations for the Olympics included returning to live with her parents in Motherwell after lockdown first took hold in spring 2020.

"Coming home allowed me to take a step back, gain some perspective, and understand why I'm doing this," she said . "Being with my family, I thought 'I really want to make them proud' and I want them to see all of the sacrifices I'm making.

"There were a lot of dark mornings in the garage doing lots of boring land training."