Katie Reid admitted her Olympic debut was a “whirlwind” after rocketing from call-up to the exit door in barely three weeks.
The 26-year-old from Dunfermline came fourth in her canoe sprint 200m quarter-final on Wednesday and her Games were done inside two races that lasted less than 48 seconds apiece.
Her last-minute entry was not the ideal preparation but the taster of the big time can be a stepping stone, she said.
“I executed the way I wanted to do. The outcome is obviously not fast enough yet but everything is geared towards Paris. I’ve only been doing this for seven years now so to be here is achievement in itself. I’m happy to be here and trying to take it all in and use it for experience in future competitions.”
A little history too, she declared proudly, for the first time that women’s canoe has had its sprint disciplines included in an Olympics. “To be here is a privilege,” she underlined.
Late selection meant Reid was only reunited with her kit when she arrived in the Athletes Village, missing all the ceremonial trappings of making the team. But now she will throw everything into a more timely ticket to 2024.
She said: “I have worlds in Copenhagen four weeks’ time. That’s what I was training for. And then it’s all geared to Paris.”
Fellow Scot Deborah Kerr made it through to Thursday morning’s kayak sprint single 500m semi-finals (1.58am) in third place in her quarter-final.
“I was so nervous,” said the 23-year-old. “I knew there’s always a chance. It depends who grabs the opportunity that’s there. Because had I gone out too hard like I did in my heat, I wouldn’t have manage that race. That semi-final is going to be my final. That’s how I have to approach it.”