A week after New Zealand’s first World Cup canoe slalom medal, Luuka Jones has come agonisingly close to a second at the latest ICF round in Germany.
The Tauranga paddler made her first-ever final in her first season racing the C1 class and for most of her run on the Augsburg course, looked in complete control.
However, a tiny mistake two gates from the finish saw her roll. She recovered quickly, finishing with no penalties in 135.00secs, but the 11secs she lost proved the difference between second and fourth.
“I made my first-ever final in C1, which I was super-stoked about and if you said at the start of the year that I’d finish fourth in my second World Cup in C1, I’d be over the moon,” Jones said. “It’s been I guess a pretty good day – but at the moment, I’m a little bit annoyed and I’m still getting over it. Next week when I reflect, I will probably decide that’s a pretty good start to my season in C1 and there’s still a lot to learn and a long way to go.”
Australia’s Jess Fox won the final in a clean run of 116.86secs, more than 10secs ahead of Mallory Franklin (Great Britain), with Lena Stoecklin (Germany) just 1.12secs ahead of Jones in third.
The C1 women’s class was recently added to the 2020 Olympic programme and Jones, the silver medalist in K1 at the Rio Olympics, is hoping to race both in Tokyo.
She has already made a strong start with those ambitions, also making the semifinal of the K1 tonight.
Mike Dawson is also in action in tonight’s extreme slalom division, having won gold – and New Zealand’s first-ever World Cup canoe slalom medal – in that event last week in the Czech Republic.