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Jones through to canoe slalom semis

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/06/2017

Kiwi kayaker Luuka Jones has made a strong start to her World Cup canoe slalom campaign, easing through to the semi-finals in both the K1 and C1 in Prague.

The Rio Olympic K1 silver medallist will be joined in the semifinals by fellow Olympian Mike Dawson, who squeezed through to the men's K1 semi-finals amidst intense competition.

Jones, in her first season racing the C1 division, started slowly in the windy conditions, picking up three two-second penalties in her first heat to lie in 25th position, more than 25secs behind Austrian Nadine Weratschnig's fastest time.

But despite racing with a rib injury she picked up earlier in the week, Jones stormed back to win the repechage, taking 15sec off her previous time to qualify 21st for the semifinal.

Jones upped the ante in her K1 heat, posting a flawless 91.48sec for seventh fastest time, just 3.83sec behind top qualifier Stefanie Horn (Italy).

"I was definitely a bit shaky with my first C1 run, unsure about how to do some of the moves and made a big mistake at the bottom of the course," Jones said.

"It did seem like shaking out the cobwebs as the next run felt solid and I was happy to put down a decent time. The C1 made my K1 run feel quite easy though, and the times were tight so to be in the top-10 was a good day."

Well back in his first run in the men's K1, Dawson adjusted in the second to snatch the 10th and final qualifying spot by just 0.16secs with a clean 83.92sec run.

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