The qualification runs for the Wildwater sprints took place yesterday on the demanding Pau whitewater course and unfortunately none of our 3 Australian athletes progressed to the finals, although some valiant efforts were undertaken.
In the woman’s K1 our sole representative Dita Pahl had a difficult first run spinning out and then had to negotiate a few stoppers backward but fought back well with a solid second run placing 11th with a time of 55.62 seconds just missing the cut for the final by 2.08 seconds.
In the men’s K1 Robert McIntyre was close to making the final directly with his first run which was in the sharp time of 44.94 seconds only 0.13 seconds behind multiple World and European Champion Nejc Znidarcic who claimed the 5th place position. The French paddlers certainly had the home course advantage showing the training that they had obviously had on the course where they claimed the first 4 placings in the first run along with the 6th place.
Alex McIntyre had a solid first run hit out placing 16th in a time of 47.33 seconds showing that he is close to the top 15 paddlers.
Unfortunately the second runs did not go as planned for the McIntyre brothers. Both had fast split times on the top part of the course but had issues in the middle leaving them short of making the final. Firstly Robert caught an edge and an eddy thus ending his hopes of making the final and finished 30th in the second run. Alex was also checked by some stoppers and finished 17th and 21st overall.
Both the McIntyre’s said they thought the course was great to race on and hopefully look forward to the opportunity to come back and compete here next year at the World Wildwater Sprint championships.