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Monday, 27 July 2015
New Zealand kayakers Briar McLeely and Rebecca Cole capped a memorable junior canoe sprint world championship campaign in Portugal overnight, grabbing second in the B final of the under-23 K2 500m.The pair, who had earlier featured in the A final of the K4 500m alongside Kim Thompson and Danielle Currie, were just 0.196secs behind the French pair of Léa Caurant and Joanne Mayer in the final, clocking 1min 52.380secs to finish 11th overall.Their time, however, would've been good enough for eighth place in the A final, which they narrowly missed out on making after a fast semifinal at the Montemor-o-vehlo course.
"We weren't so strong in the first 300m but managed to power it home on with Rebecca calling the shots," McLeely said. "I could feel us reeling in the French crew next to us and when we crossed the line, I was stoked to see we were right up there with them."McLeely was delighted with the performance of her young teammates over the four-day championship, especially as they have several years to go in the under-23 ranks.
"The K4 result was awesome for all of us girls, as we achieved our goal of getting into the A final. We've really come far for our first time together and we're all looking forward to the years to come."
Thompson also had a decent finish to her campaign, finishing sixth in the B final of the K1 200m, ending with a overall ranking of 15th. Her time of 43.688secs was another sharp improvement on her semifinal time, taking nearly a second off.The junior (under-18) K4 crew of Thomas Cole, Toby Brooke, Karl McMurtrie and Alex Bristow finished seventh in their 1000m B final for an overall ranking of 16, while Elise Legarth finished eighth in the C final of the under-18 K1 500m.Canoe Racing New Zealand chief executive Mark Weatherall applauded the efforts of the 18-strong junior squad, confident in the next generation of paddlers who will soon be pushing for Olympic spots."The standard of racing is incredibly high at junior worlds level, where many of the European paddlers already have world cup experience, but our results still showed we have the talent to compete," Weatherall said. "It's been an eye-opener for some of the team but they've also come away knowing exactly how hard they need to work to take their ability to the next level."Focus will now turn to the open world championships in Milan next month, where a nine-strong New Zealand team will try to qualify spots at next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
RESULTS: SUNDAY 26 JULY
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