20 year old Catherine McArthur is one of the nations brightest canoe sprint prospects who is looking at taking the next step in her paddling career this year.
Hailing from the Patterson Lakes Canoe Club in Victoria, McArthur has left behind her family and friends to move to the Holdfast Bay Canoe Club in South Australia, as she focuses on making the transition from successful junior athlete to senior paddler in the coming years.
However for the moment the 20 year old is focused on earning a spot in the U23 team this weekend in Penrith, NSW and she has gotten off to an exciting start winning her K1 500 heat and moving straight into Saturday’s final.
McArthur powered out of the start gates to win her heat in 2:03.03, 3.65 seconds ahead of Direct Members Coco Howcroft and Western Australian Jaymee-Lee Martin.
“My aim was to take that one out and get the reward of having the rest of the day off to prepare for tomorrow.”
“It was a real confidence booster for me ahead of tomorrow as I was able to achieve what I aimed to do while also leaving a little reserved.”
Since making the move across to South Australia, McArthur has flourished training alongside dual Olympian Hannah Davis, while last week she travelled to the Gold Coast and got the opportunity to train alongside the senior girls, something she thoroughly enjoyed.
“It was great training with the senior girls. It was a real eye opener and a great experience to learn what the standard required is to compete at that level.”
While her focus is on competing at the ICF U23 World Championships in Welland, Canada, she still has ambitions to push for senior selection as soon as this year.
“I want to travel to Canada with the U23 team and produce some strong performances. I would also like to be in contention for the second senior selection in June, but my main focus is on the U23 team.”
McArthur will face strong competition in tomorrow’s final from Sunshine Coast paddler Alyce Burnett who narrowly missed Olympic selection last year.
Asked how she will approach the final she responded, “I need to approach it as my own race and focus on my race plan and execute all the steps in order.”
Racing commences on Saturday from 8:00am local time with the women’s U23 K1 500 final scheduled to begin at 9:05am.
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