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Mixed emotions for slalom paddler Jones

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 26/11/2016

New Zealand slalom kayaker Luuka Jones was disappointed not to notch a win in front of her home crowd but was heartened by her form in a new discipline.

The Rio Olympic silver medallist in the K1 class had one of the fastest raw times in the final of an international event at the new Whitewater Park in Auckland.

However, she acquired penalty points for clipping three gates, leaving her fifth behind French winner Nouria Newman.

The positive for Jones came in the C1 class, which Jones announced this week she would also contest for the next four years leading up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Despite her inexperience, Jones nearly won on Saturday, beaten into second place by a slick final run from Australian Rosalyn Lawrence.

The result provided a sizeable confidence boost for the 28-year-old from Tauranga.

"It's been an awesome few days of racing and there's a lot to take from it, especially with the way my C1 went," Jones said.

"I'm just gutted not to deliver when it counts in the K1 - I had a fast time with quite a few mistakes and I was disappointed to have put down a good run in the semifinal and not back it up.

"It is tiring doing both and it adds a different element to racing but it's a positive one."

International paddlers dominated the finals, with the men's titles going to German Franz Anton (C1) and the Czech Republic's Ondrej Tunka (K1).

New Zealand Olympian Mike Dawson was seventh in the K1, just ahead of compatriot Finn Butcher.

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