New Zealand kayaker Luuka Jones began her world cup white water slalom season in style today, qualifying for the semifinals on the course built for the London Olympics.
The Bay of Plenty paddler qualified in 10th with a 110.35sec first run on the Lee Valley white water course in London, just 4.22secs behind the leading time set by Slovakia’s Jana Dukatova.
Jones also posted a consistent 111.34 for her second run, although touched a gate and incurred a 2sec penalty.
Her fellow Olympian and compatriot Mike Dawson also made it through to tomorrow’s semifinals in the ultra-competitive men’s K1 division, though he only just squeaked into the top-40 as he continues his recovery from wrist surgery over summer.
Dawson’s second run of 102.07, including a 2sec touch, just edged out Sweden’s Isak Ohrstrom, who posted the same time but had a slower first run than his Kiwi rival. The leading time was a 94.72 from Slovenia’s Peter Kauzer, while New Zealand junior team members Finn Butcher and Callum Gilbert were 51st and 57th respectively.
Jane Nicholas finished 40th in the women’s K1 qualifying, a spot behind her sister Ella, who is competing for the Cook Islands. Jane Nicholas also backed up, finishing 20th in the C1 qualifiers.