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Monday, 29 February 2016
New national men's kayak coach Frederic Loyer is already eyeing the 2020 Olympics, following the NZCT canoe sprint national championships at Lake Karapiro.
The three-day regatta finished Sunday as a flurry of team boat titles were decided, with Olympic champion Lisa Carrington collecting her third gold and Mana paddler Marty McDowell bagging another two as part of the K4 1000m and K2 1000m winning boats.McDowell could still end up competing at the Rio de Janeiro games later this year - alongside Carrington and a women's K4 - but needs to convince the Ne
Loyer, meanwhile, is hoping 2020 will herald a new era in the sport for Kiwi males, having arrived only last week to take up his new role after six years coaching in Canada and 15 years in his native France.
"My first job is to connect with the clubs, see the athletes in their own environments and prove my expertise and my skills as soon as possible," Loyer said. "I would like to put the athletes out of their comfort zone and challenge them every day. The work needs to be done now for the next Olympics."
Canoe Racing New Zealand appointed Loyer after a worldwide search for someone to run the national men's programme. The 48-year-old has a sports science degree from the University of Lille and is vastly impressed with the technical support provided to CRNZ by High Performance Sport New Zealand. He also comes with plenty of enthusiasm, although he knows the New Zealand paddling scene will be different from the French and Canadian systems. To help him get up to speed, Loyer's picked the brains of Olympic legends Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald, as well as Carrington and McDowell's coach Gordon Walker and national women's coach Rene Olsen.
Former Danish international paddler Olsen has already made huge inroads with female crews in the last 16 months, helping the women's K4 of of Jaimee Lovett, Caitlin Ryan, Aimee Fisher and Kayla Imrie win the World Cup round in Portugal and reach the final at the world championships, while an under-23 women's K4 also finished in the top-nine at the junior world championships.
"The example of the women's K4 is huge for me," Loyer said. "My ideas come from France and Canada but then I can feel it is very different here, with not the same number of races of the number of clubs, so I know I have to be adaptable with my ideas. What's obvious so far and what is my main goal is training together, working as a team and sharing a good vision together. Those are three points I really want to put on the map."
He was impressed with the potential in some of the younger paddlers at the nationals, with Bay of Plenty's Taris Harker and Whanganui's Max Brown and Toby Brooke among the younger brigade shining in the open division. Poverty Bay's Quaid Thompson was also a dominant figure in the under-18 division.
Brooke and Brown helped the Whanganui K4 to second in the open 1000m final, ahead of Harker and his Bay of Plenty team, with McDowell anchoring a composite crew to the win alongside Zac Quickenden, Fred Teear and Ben Tinnelly. McDowell and Teear also won the K2 1000m, ahead of Quickenden and Tinnelly, with Brooke and Brown fourth.
Having already won K1 200m and 500m gold, Carrington paired with fellow Eastern Bay paddler Jaimee Lovett to win the K2 500m, while North Shore's Briar McLeely, Stef Crnecevic, Rebecca Cole and Teneale Hatton took out the K4 500m.
Poverty Bay ended the three-day championships with 18 gold medals, 17 silver and 11 bronze, while Christchurch's Arawa also picked up 18 golds, though had slightly fewer minor medals.Full results available at: http://www.liveresults.co.nz/crnz
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