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Ella 26th in Oceania C1

Tuesday 28 February 2012 | Published in Regional


Cook Islands slalom canoeist Ella Nicholas continued her Olympic build up by making the semi finals of the Oceania Championships at the weekend.

The top class international field included world champions and Olympic medalists.

After first runs, Ella was in 31st position, and with only 30 going through to the semi final she was sitting right on the bubble with many top athletes also wanting better second run performances.

Her second run was a much better performance, and pushed her up into the semi.

The course changes made it more difficult for the semis and finals and this was the undoing of nearly half the field in the K1 men’s semis event.

Nicholas posted a solid clean run, with a time costly error at the bottom gate combination where many had been caught out before her.

Her final placing of 26th was the second best Oceania country behind Australia but this result didn’t affect the Olympic quotas as New Zealand and Australia had already qualified at the World Champs.

Nicholas’s result, however, was a confidence boost and a positive sign of the progress she is making now she has committed to fulltime training ahead of the London Olympics.

The other Cook Island athlete at the Oceania Canoe Slalom champs was Bryden Nicholas, Ella’s brother, who was one of the few to race both C1 and K1.

In his 6th year at medical school he has had limited opportunity to train on white water, so on arrival at Penrith, New South Wales, his schedule was pretty frantic.

A little disappointed with his racing, Nicholas said, “My forearms were pretty tired by the bottom third of the course and I couldn’t quite pull off the last tricky move where so many others had made errors. I knew what to do but couldn’t quite execute it.”