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NZ Canoe Sprint Team Hit the Water

NZ Canoe Sprint Team Hit the Water

6 August 2012

The New Zealand canoe sprint team hit Olympic water today with Ben Fouhy first up in the K1 1000m. Ben came out strong out of the blocks and paddled a controlled race to place 2nd in a time of 3.35.610 to see him comfortably through to the semi-final.

Unfortunately Ben drew a highly competitive semi field and although he raced a very strong race, fastest overall in the last 250m, his sixth placing in a time of 3:32.572 relegates him to the B final on Wednesday.

Ben was followed by the K2 pairing of Steven Ferguson and Darryl Fitzgerald who approached the 1000m race with confidence. They paddled strictly according to their game plan finishing strongly in 4th in 3:16.608, to leave them plenty of steam for their semi just 80 minutes later.

Their game plan continued through into the semi-final where they fired out of the blocks and then paddled a steady race all the way. The last 250m saw the Australian and Swedish crews push hard for the top spot while the Kiwis were happy to take third place in a respectable time of 3:15.307 to qualify for the final which is raced on Wednesday.

"We’re really happy with our races” says Steven Ferguson. “Making the final is a huge weight off our shoulders. We paddled the heat with the aim of gaining a good lane draw going into the semi, and just paddled according to our plan throughout. Now we’ll concentrate on preparing for the big one on Wednesday”. His Coach and father Ian Ferguson was just as happy and proud of the boys for sticking to the strategy while Darryl Fitzgerald is thrilled to be racing in the A final of this, his first Olympics.

Tomorrow’s racing features the start of the women’s racing with talented late-comer Teneale Hatton in the K1 500m and the dynamic duo of Lisa Carrington and Erin Taylor in the K2 500m.

Teneale, a ‘Mainland’ girl from Queenstown, was introduced to kayaking by her Surf Lifesaving Coach and now resides on the North Shore in Auckland. Her build up to the Olympics was in Italy training under Coach Ian Ferguson alongside the Men’s K2.

Lisa and Erin have been paddling K2 for the past year performing strongly in European competition now making them a very competitive crew. Erin provides the experience in the duo having raced the 2008 Olympics, but Lisa as the first New Zealander to achieve a women’s kayaking world championship title, will be more than pulling her weight in this boat. Coached by Gordon Walker in Munich over the past month, the girls have been showing fine form and are rearing to go tomorrow.

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