Cook Islands paddlers at world champs

Monday September 21, 2015 Written by Published in Paddling
Cook Islands’ Ella Nicholas finished 43rd from 67 in a field that contained the world’s best including fi3ve Olympic medalists and six world champions. Cook Islands’ Ella Nicholas finished 43rd from 67 in a field that contained the world’s best including fi3ve Olympic medalists and six world champions. PHOTO: Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media.

Cook Islands canoeing siblings Ella and Bryden Nicholas took part in the ICF Canoe Slalom World Championship in London last week in their bid to qualify to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ella started her campaign on Wednesday and had to overcome some problems in her first run on the tricky artificial white water course built for the London Olympics.

She got caught in a hole and had to “Eskimo roll,” but finished the run well, but off the pace for a top 20 automatic progression to the semi-finals. 

Thirty from 67 go through in total and by the time of the second runs, the English weather had really set in and it was pouring and very cold. 

Ella was on task and laid down one of her best ever performances with a solid, clean run (not hitting any gates) and shaved 14 seconds off her time, just under four seconds from a semi, but still not enough to qualify through. 

Her final placing was 43rd from 67 in a field that contained the world’s best including five Olympic medalists and six world champions.

Olympic quotas are up for grabs with 16 places on offer in London and a further five at the continental events. 

Seventeen countries have progressed to semi-finals so one will miss out.

Ella finished as the 21st country so her chances of competing in Rio Olympics now depend on what happens with the other Oceania athletes, who are both through to semis. 

Meanwhile, Bryden had a solid second run on Friday in the championship to finish 66th overall improving from his 99th place after his first run.

His time of 92.65 plus four seconds for two gate touches puts him as third Oceania country behind Australia and New Zealand, who qualified through to the next round where the first round of Olympic places will be decided.

Leave a comment