ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 1, Poznan, Poland 19 May 2012
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The first day of racing in the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poznan, Poland proved challenging for the kiwi team. Having had nine months away from European racing the race style was a stark reminder in their build up to the London Olympics. Having raced only in NZ and Australia in the months since the 2011 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships they were conditioned to the explosive start and steady paddle through the distance. However, the European style tends to be one of a slower start, powering into the longer distance, and our paddlers were tested by this in their first outing in the European racing scene since August 2011.
The Europeans had a good head start on them too, having had two days of Olympic qualifiers and were fired up and raring to go.
HP Manager, Grant Restall remarks “The story was the same for all of our paddlers – just too fast at the start, and tapering off at the end of their races.” Having said that, this is exactly what the team needs to get their “game face” on for the Olympics. They need as much European racing as possible in the next couple of months to re-learn the pace and tactics required to do well in London.
The K2 crew of Steven Ferguson and Darryl Fitzgerald certainly suffered this fate leading for the first 250m of their 1000m race and then dropping back; as did Ben Fouhy in both his 1000m and 500m races. It was telling that the Beijing Olympic gold medallist Tim Brabants was also relegated to the B final in the 1000m and interestingly, the new Australian double with K1 500m Olympic Champion Ken Wallace did not progress to the A Final either. However, this is where the kiwis need to iron out those kinks, and it will certainly be game-on in the next World Cup in Germany in a week’s time.
Only the women’s K2 pairing of Lisa Carrington and Erin Taylor made an A final in this World Cup (in their non-specialist event the 1000m distance) which will be raced at 10.46am on Saturday 19 May (8.46pm NZ). However qualifying for the B final was a good result for Teneale Hatton and is an improvement on her 2011 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championship result where she won the C final. Teneale won her heat with a very strong race to put her in a good position for the semi. In her own words she was “surprised” to find herself in the lead of the heat, and wasn’t quite sure how to handle the rest of the race, deciding on just “going for it”, and finishing 1st. The semi was a little tougher and saw her place 3rd which relegated her to the B final. If she performs well in the B final on Saturday she may be considered for nomination to the NZOC for the K1 500m berth in the Olympics.
Lisa and Erin still have the K2 500m to go, with their heat around midnight NZ time Sunday morning and Teneale has the K1 200m heat at 1.00am NZ time.
Paddler Race H/S/F Placed Time Time Off 1st Progression Race NZ time Sat
Teneale Hatton K1 500m Heat 1st 2.02.404 - Semi
Ben Fouhy K1 1000m Heat 4th 3:51.894 0:03.588 Semi
Darryl Fitzgerald K2 1000m Heat 3rd 3:31.913 0:01.748 Semi
Erin Taylor K2 1000m Heat 3rd 4:01.808 0:3.420 Semi
Ben Fouhy K1 500m Heat 3rd 1:53.986 0:01:752 Semi
Ben Fouhy K1 500m Semi 9th 2:01.815 0:11:440 Out
Teneale Hatton K1 500m Semi 3rd 2:07.392 0:01.816 B final 7.20pm
Ben Fouhy K1 1000m Semi 4th 3:55.441 0:05.256 B final 7.52pm
(Canoe Racing NZ)
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