CRNZ Blog

Fifth for flying Kiwi kayakers

Author -  Karen Simpson

They may have missed a medal but young New Zealand kayakers Rebecca Cole and Briar McLeely have received plenty of plaudits for their efforts at the canoe sprint junior world championships in Belarus.

Fifth for flying Kiwi kayakers

They may have missed a medal but young New Zealand kayakers Rebecca Cole and Briar McLeely have received plenty of plaudits for their efforts at the canoe sprint junior world championships in Belarus. Article by Jamie Troughton, Dscribe Media
August 1 2016
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They may have missed a medal but young New Zealand kayakers Rebecca Cole and Briar McLeely have received plenty of plaudits for their efforts at the canoe sprint junior world championships in Belarus.

The North Shore pair finished a valiant fifth in the A final of the under-23 K2 500m, one of New Zealand's best results in the last decade.

Cole and McLeely shaved half a second off their semifinal time to clock 1:49.487. It left them just 3secs adrift of German winners Jasmin Fritz and Nina Krankemann (1:46.333), who beat home Russian, Hungarian and Polish boats over the line.  The Kiwi pair also had the satisfaction of edging the strong Romanian pair of Florida Cuita and Daniela Varona, who won their semifinal, to give the 26-strong Canoe Racing New Zealand team a big final-day boost.

"This is a great result in the face of pretty tough competition," CRNZ chief executive Mark Weatherall said. "Rebecca and Briar have worked incredibly hard after missing the final last year and they've deservedly earned a place among the more significant Kiwi performances at this level."

It's the best result since Kurtis Imrie finished fifth in the under-23 K1 1000m final two years ago, with another K2 crew - Aimee Fisher and Kim Thompson - winning bronze a year earlier. Fisher, who is set to make her Olympic debut in the New Zealand women's K4 at the Rio Olympics, also finished fifth in the under-18 K1 200m that same year.

Imrie (Mana) helped the New Zealand team to another top-15 finish last night, combining with Bay of Plenty's Taris Harker to finish fourth in the B final of the under-23 K2 200m.  The pair clocked 34.523secs for the sprint, leaving them within a second of the Czech, Australian and Greek teams ahead of them and giving them a world ranking of 13th.

Two more Mana paddlers, under-18 K2 500m teammates Tess Allen and Danielle Watson, finished eighth in their B final in 1:57.815, while Arawa's Shani Clark was ninth in the under-18 K1 500m B final in 2:13.292.

The last Kiwi in action on the final day, North Shore's Karl McMurtrie, finished eighth in the C final of the under-23 K1 200m in 38.778.

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Taris Harker & Kurtis Imrie U23 MK2

Fifth for flying Kiwi kayakers

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