Top-15 finish for kayaking Kiwis

mike d

Luuka Jones narrowly missed her first-ever final at the canoe slalom world cup event in London overnight, while fellow New Zealander Mike Dawson also secured a top-15 placing.
Jones finished 12th in the K1 on the technically difficult Lee Valley White Water Centre course, which was also the venue for the London Olympics. It was her best result at a world cup, edging the 13th-placing she grabbed last year in Slovenia, while her 116.11sec time was just 2.6secs outside the top-10.
“I was pretty consistent over the whole weekend, which is really positive,” Jones said. “The semifinal course was pretty tricky and I made a few errors which cost me a lot of time but finishing 12th was a positive start to the world cup season and all of the top paddlers were here so it was a strong field. Racing in London again for the first time since the Olympics also brought back some good memories.”
Dawson, meanwhile, was satisfied with his 15th-place, in his first major outing since the Australian Open at the start of the year. The 27-year-old had wrist surgery following the Penrith event and was surprised at how well his fitness and form stood up in London.
“The course was as tricky as I remember from the Olympics and we saw how brutal it was out there in the men’s semifinal when Slovenian Peter Kauzer capsized and dislocated his shoulder,” Dawson said. “It’s been a difficult few months dealing with an annoying injury so it’s great to be getting back on form. I’ve been working on a lot of things and I am proud of my progress. I’m excited to build on this event and head into the next world cups focused on paddling well.”
France’s Boris Neveu won the men’s K1, while China’s Lu Li snatched the women’s title by just 0.39secs from Austrian Corinna Kuhnle.
The other New Zealander to feature in the semifinals was Jane Nicholas, who was 18th in the women’s C1 division.
The next two world cups are on over the next two weekends, in Slovenia and Prague, where both New Zealand paddlers have had success in the past.


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