SO rapid has Katie Reid’s progress that after just four years in the sport, she goes into this weekend’s Canoe Sprint European Championships in Serbia with ambitions of grabbing a spot on the podium.

The C1 paddler from Dunfermline began her sporting career as a karate player but after switching to canoe sprint just a few years ago after taking part in a talent identification programme, she has worked her way up to becoming one of the best in the world.

And Reid’s confidence could not be higher as she approaches the Europeans having won a World Cup bronze medal just a few weeks ago, which has only boosted her belief even further that she could make a real mark over the next few days.

“I’m really excited about this weekend - it’s been a tough couple of weeks but I’m taking some good form in with me,” the 23-year-old said.
“I’m confident in my ability and the training I’ve been doing so I just need to trust that my hard work will pay off and I’ll hopefully get some good results.”

While Reid knows that a medal is a distinct possibility this weekend, she admits that she has tried not to allow her thoughts to drift towards snatching a spot on the podium.

“I try not to think of medals,” she said.

“I have a race plan and I go into these competitions trying to execute that race plan under pressure. I never aim for medals, instead I just try to focus on the process.”

That Reid has progressed through the sport quite so rapidly has, she admits, surprised even her but her personality is such that she rarely settles for anything other than striving to be the best. 
And having used her first couple of winters to get to grips with the sport, it was this last winter that has really seen things begin to click.

"It has surprised me how quick my progress has been," Reid said. 
"But I am a pretty driven person and whatever I’ve done in life, I’ve always wanted to be the best at it and try to be the best I can be. I’m never happy with what I do, I’m always driving to be better. 

"Even if I win a race, I’ll think about the parts I didn’t do very well and I think that’s why I’ve got to where I am so fast, because I’m pretty tenacious and I’m always trying to be the best I can be. So I am surprised but I’m loving it.

"This winter, things went really well. 

"I’m becoming more confident and believe more and more in the process. I know now that I don’t need to go out there and do anything different - I can go out there and do what I do on a daily basis.

"The main thing this year is that I’ve realised I can go out there and do what I do and just enjoy it, I don’t need to do anything I don’t normally do."