Kynan Maley & Robin Jeffery
With less than 7 weeks till the 2012 Olympic Games, more than 160 athletes will compete at the ICF Slalom World Cup 2 event in Pau, France from 15-17 June, getting another opportunity to measure where they are at in the all-important lead up to London.
For the first time this year, Australia’s four canoe slalom Olympic athletes; Kynan Maley, Warwick Draper, Robin Jeffery and Jessica Fox, and the remainder of the senior slalom team will compete as one at the second ICF World Cup in Pau, France, with racing getting underway on Friday afternoon.
“The team has been altogether for the first time this tour yesterday in Pau,” said Australian Head Coach Mike Druce.
“We are really working on a delivery in the competition this weekend; it's not so much about practising the specific skills for this course, much more about practising racing.”
The men’s C1, Men’s K1 and women’s C1 heats will kick off the action on Friday afternoon, with London bound duo Warwick Draper and Kynan Maley set to commence their preparations for the Games, with their first competitive hit out of the World Cup Series so far.
Maley bypassed the first World Cup in Cardiff last week in favour of an additional training period alongside C2 partner Robin Jeffery, and K1 paddler Draper who will benefit from the additional days training on the course.
Maley is looking forward to racing, “I can't wait to race the Pau world cup this week. The whitewater in Pau feels a lot like a steep natural river and really suits the way I paddle, so I am looking for a good result,” said Maley.
Joining Maley in the men’s C1 event will be 22 year old Ian Borrows who will look to build on his 27th finish at the first World Cup a week ago, while Draper will join New South Wales duo Lucien Delfour and Will Forsythe in the men’s K1 event.
After a stunning one-two finish in the women’s C1 event in Cardiff last Saturday, NSWIS duo Ros Lawrence and Jessica Fox are will be looking to produce cleaner runs this week after receiving more gates touches than they would have liked last weekend.
“I was pretty happy with my overall performance at World Cup 1. My C1 run had a couple of mistakes that were a bit disappointing, but the rest of it was the way I want to paddle and I managed to hold the run together despite the challenging water,” said Lawrence.
“In C1 I made too many costly mistakes in the final and I think I definitely need to clean up the run without all those touches,” said Fox.
Fox and Lawrence will also contest the women’s K1 event alongside older sister Kate, and Victoria’s Sarah Grant on Saturday afternoon local time.
Fox, who celebrated her 18th birthday on Monday, will look to build on her 7th place finish a week ago and return to the form that saw her claim back to back silver medals at the Oceania and Australian Championships.
“In K1 I want to be able to run the boat a bit better and race to my potential because I feel that the run in the final just didn't piece itself together like I would've liked,” said Fox.
The men’s C2 will conclude proceedings with Western Australian duo Kynan Maley and Robin Jeffery set to race competitively for the first time since winning Olympic selection in March.
“I am really happy with our preparation. I am in the best physical shape ever and have developed new techniques in C2 that have improved our boat speed, synchronisation and precision. I can't wait to start racing,” said Jeffery.
“My major focus for the World Cups is to maintain focus for the entire run. I want to get to the bottom and find it hard to remember what happened because my focus was in the moment for the whole run.”
Located at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains, Pau is has a population of more than 250,000 and is a popular sport tourism destination.
The area is home to a white-water sports stadium, the oldest golf course in the content, many hiking and long walks and cycling.
Other popular tourist destinations include the Castle of Pau and the Museum of Fine Arts.
Whitewater Stadium Pau Pyrenees
A relatively new stadium, the Whitewater Pau Pyrenees venue commenced operation in April 2008, costing an estimated 11.7 million Euros.
The competition course is 300m in length, 15m wide and a 5m gradient with an average slope of 2%.
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