Near misses for kayaker Jones again

New Zealand kayaker Luuka Jones has endured another frustration round of the canoe slalom world cup series in Poland. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services
New Zealand kayaker Luuka Jones is looking forward to this week’s third world cup after another frustration round of the canoe slalom series in Poland. Photo by Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

She’s proved she’s got the speed – now Kiwi kayaker Luuka Jones just needs a little luck to go her way on the canoe slalom world cup circuit.

For the second week in a row, the two-time Olympian dipped out on qualifying for the K1 semifinals, missing a gate in a crucial second heat of the world cup in Krakow, Poland, over the weekend.

Jones was left lamenting a small mistake at the 19th of 21 gates, which blew out her final time by 50secs.

“I had a pretty slow first run and the second run was on pace but a mistake at the end led to another 50,” Jones said. “There are definitely things to refine before the third world cup next weekend and I need to just be more patient and focus on my processes rather than the outcomes but the the comforting thing is if I have a good run, the raw speed is at least there, which is reassuring.”

Jones’ raw time of 83.98secs would’ve been good enough for the top-five semifinal qualifiers, although her penalty-adjusted time of 135.98 was well short in 35th spot.

Tauranga’s Haylee Dangen finished 28th with a 101.56sec effort, while Ella Nicholas – also from Tauranga but representing the Cook Islands – clocked 110.64 for 31st.

With Olympian Mike Dawson skipping the second world cup, the New Zealand men’s charge was led by Finn Butcher (85.59secs, 45th), Callum Gilbert (101.44, 59th) and Jack Dangen (194.82, 84th), with all three improving in their second heats but also missing the semifinals.

# Luuka Jones is sponsored by Just Avocados Ltd, Sky Next and High Performance Sport NZ.

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