She considered quitting her sport altogether but Jo Brigden-Jones now couldn’t be happier she changed her mind about having another tilt at an Olympics.
Manly paddler Jo Brigden-Jones has helped qualify Australia a spot in the K4 field at next year’s Olympic Games - now she has to qualify herself.
An emotional Brigden-Jones and her crewmates missed the medals with a seventh but did the job required at the world titles in Hungary in qualifying for Tokyo.
Now Brigden-Jones, who competed for Australia at the London Olympics but missed out on the Rio Games in 2016, must qualify herself to be in the boat in Tokyo.
“I feel like my experience has really paid off for me and I think I had a bit more experience in the K4 than the other girls,’’ an elated Brigden-Jones said from Hungary after the K4 race with Alyssa Bull, Jamie Roberts and Alyce Burnett.
“It’s a long time for me between two Olympics and we have a lot of work to do.
“We’ll have sixth months now to get ourselves qualified for the team but it’s an exciting prospect to work towards.’’
Brigden-Jones was competeing at her eighth world championships in Hungary and admits she seriously considered leaving kayaking for good after failing to qualify for the last Olympics.
“I seriously could have walked away from the sport after missing out on Rio,’’ she said.
“I seriously considered it multiple times and no one would have questioned me if I did because I had a great career.
“The only thing that brought me back was last year when we sat down at nationals and I was going to retire again and I said, ‘let’s give this K4 a crack, lets spend some time in it’. We all proved to each other that we could.
“These girls are the only reason I’m in the boat today because I want to be part of this. It’s something so special and so amazing.’’
The Daily Telegraph 27 August 2019