Was a big day yesterday with high winds that caused power outages at our apartments and food hall closure in the village. Canoe Slalom racing was delayed by one hour then finally got underway. Paddlers don't get to practice the moves set until race day however they thought the course was good with the trickiest move at gates 19/20/21.
Bryden Nicholas was first off in the K1 men as the lowest ranked paddler and he planned his first run to be quite conservative. He paddled well with a solid run but incurred three 3 gate touches (6 seconds penalties) to be sitting in 18th. His second run was going very well, much faster, with no penalties and good lines however he cut the entry into gate 19 a bit tight and his bow slammed into the bollard throwing him off balance and over. He put in a solid effort to finish the race, with the crowd cheering. He was disappointed with the final result of 21st as he had hoped to paddle better than his ranking however that is sport and this one can be especially cruel at times. Bryden looked sharp and fit and showed us how far he had come and how much effort had gone into his preparation.
Ella Nicholas raced on day two of the canoe slalom and unfortunately she had been unwell for a few days prior.
In her first run she had a similar approach to Bryden and was relatively safe, producing a really good solid run with only 1 gate touch. After video analysis she had areas to work on to make up a few seconds here and there. Her second run started well until she lost an edge at gate eight which forced her over and unfortunately the force of the water pushed her to touch gate 10 which automatically means gate 8 and 9 were now dead with 50 seconds being added per gate. With no way back from there her second run was essentially over and as the best of two runs counts for the final result her first run stood.
New Zealand paddlers Luuka Jones and Mike Dawson made it through to the next round in 4th and 8th respectively.
Ana Satila the Brazilian medal hopefully and some of the other top seeds failed to qualify for the semis showing the difficulty of the course and the competition.
Team coach Jimy Bercon was pleased with how they both competed saying that their runs showed some quality paddling and they nailed some of the difficult moves.
Final results were Bryden 21st and Ella 18th, one place higher than her ranking.
Both Ella and Bryden have been great ambassadors for the Cook Islands as they have been the focus of media over the Olympics, being siblings doing the same sport and both doctors. Articles have appeared in the Olympic Village newspaper, on the outside broadcast TV channel and on NZ TV news and newspapers. Now that their events are over they both intend to get behind the other sports and support their Cook Island team mates before returning to work in NZ at Tauranga Hospital.
They would like to say a big meitaki maata to Cook Islands Canoeing , CISNOC and everyone at home in the Cooks and NZ who have supported them.
Last Modified on 09/08/2016 10:21