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Paddler Jones wins gold at NZ Open

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 22/01/2017
Luuka Jones © Getty Images Luuka Jones

Canoe slalom triple Olympian Luuka Jones has been narrowly denied twin victories at the New Zealand Open near Palmerston North.

Rio Games silver medallist Jones was a convincing winner in her specialist K1 class at the two-day event which was buffeted by strong winds and rain on the Mangahao River.

However, she was upstaged by Tauranga's Kelly Travers in the C1 discipline.

Despite picking up four penalty touches, Travers clocked 134.82 seconds for her final run.

Jones was second with 142.09 in an event she has added to her training and racing programme with an eye to chase twin medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Earlier, Jones had picked up one touch in a dominant K1 final display, clocking 109.75sec, heading off Frenchwoman Camille Prigent and Briton Amber Maslen.

Another Olympian, Australian Lucien Delfour, won the men's K1 final, pipping Swiss rival Martin Dougoud by 0.08sec. Olympian Mike Dawson was the best Kiwi, compromised by hitting two gates.

New Zealander Ben Gibb was third in the C1, which was won by Thibault Blaise of France.

Many of the paddlers will line up again for this weekend's Oceania championships in Auckland.

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