The world cups for 2016 had most paddlers competing for rights to represent their country in a boat for the Rio Olympics and some still trying to qualify a place. The European qualifier was brutal in some aspects but exciting for the ones who clinched the places. I was happy for my friends who made it and at the same time very sad for those who never. My world cup outing didn’t start with a bang as I was left scratching in the C-final. We had some great conditions to race in Duisburg allowing the racing times to be very fast, I don’t think my time was slow but it was still too slow after a terrible semi-final that only allowed me to progress to the C-final. I have to admit my disappointment with the result, but I was happy to still have a good C-final that I managed to win with a better race feeling. The top contenders for the Rio Olympics were all there racing so it was good to have competed against most of them. My 200m’s were still average as I also competed in the C-final, however extra practice in the starting blocks was valuable.
World cup 2 was much better for me! I felt more prepared and ready to take up the challenge of improving. We had some different conditions, this time a head wind, which has always been in favour of my racing style. I again tried my luck in the 200m events for extra start practice, this time I progressed to a B-final. My 500m semi–final has to be the best race for me this year, my race went from strength to strength so I hope to get this feeling three times over in the Rio Olympics! I managed to still have a good Final placing me 6th overall in the A-final. I then tried my luck in the K1 5000m LD event that I haven’t raced in two years. I finished 4th putting in some extra mileage and good training.
Overall mixed emotions at my first international outing in Sprint canoeing for 2016, there are a lot of really speedy girls at the moment so I know the Rio Olympics is going to be one tough event, but there that’s the challenge I have announced it and I am putting my head down to do everything possible to have the best races of my life in August.
I returned home to take part in another local race, this time a lot longer than a 500m sprint! The SA marathon champs took place in Cape Town, I decided to race K2 for a little bit of fun. It was awesome to race against Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase as they achieved a great race in the K2 world champs in 2015, however I know that the group dynamics at an international marathon will be a lot tougher having more than two boats. I enjoyed being part of the local racing scene for the weekend after spending almost 5 weeks away from home.
Under Armour currently no longer sponsors me as Treger brands changed some things in their company so the brand has changed hands. They are still supporting me and I received a stunning Daniel Wellington watch, some gorgeous Georgini jewellery and a Rio nomination bracelet.
My next stop really is Brasil! I am excited & nervous all at the same time but trying to take everyday as a chance to improve my technique, fitness and strength all the way to race day in August.