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Nicholas eyes world champs

Thursday 12 August 2010 | Published in Regional

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Cook Islands’ canoe slalom paddler Ella Nicholas is preparing for the World Championships in Slovenia in September.

Nicholas, who is currently studying medicine at Otago University in New Zealand, has had a tough build-up to this year’s event. Suffering glandular fever late last year, she has taken many months to fully recover.

She will leave NZ next week to race at the Slovak Open in Bratislava, which is an International Canoe Federation ranking race.

Nicholas is not expecting a big result, but says it is important to train in Bratislava prior to this event and race there as this is the venue for next year’s World Champs and Olympic qualification.

“It is difficult with my studies, lack of coach and suitable white water, plus the cold weather in Dunedin to train for these European events in our off season,” Nicholas said.

Following the race in Slovakia, Nicholas will move to Lubjiliana in Slovenia to build up for this year’s world championships on September 9-11.

She plans to race both K1 and the new developing C1 women’s class in which she has a current world ranking of 30th.

The ICF are hosting a training camp in Slovakia for young athletes from developing canoeing nations that Nicholas has been invited to.

Nicholas’ younger sister Jane, who is in her final year of school in New Zealand, will be some of her competition as she has qualified for the New Zealand senior team for the first time.