Athletes paddle their way down under for gold19 January 2013
CANOE/KAYAK SLALOM: Although it was a cloudy day things looked up for winners of the canoe/kayak slalom as athletes stepped up onto the podium to claim their gold, silver and bronze medals.
The men’s K1 was an exciting event with Australian Daniel Watkins taking gold with a total time of 96.00 seconds and a two second penalty.
Watkins’ performance was not to be missed as he glided his way consistently and smoothly around the course only incurring a small penalty which enabled him to take the lead.
Watkins was followed by China’s Tao Yuan who managed to sneak his way to second place - after improving his qualifying performance of sixth place - three seconds of first, with Australia’s Timothy Anderson third.
In the women’s events, Noemie Fox managed to snag gold with no surprises due to her consistent efforts and strong determination. Fox took to the podium with arms held high as sister Jessica Fox awarded her with the medal and sisterly congratulations.
New Zealand’s Jessica Bailey was only 2.12 seconds behind but still happy as her Kiwi teammates gave an overwhelming cry of joy at her silver medal.
Third place went to China’s Yinou Zhang who performed exceptionally incurring only a two second penalty.
Watkins made a double appearance as he paddled to his second gold medal of the tournament, securing gold in the men’s C1.
Watkins made the time of 108 seconds with a four second penalty which still allowed him to lead the competition.
Watkins was closely trailed by Aussie teammates Andrew Eckhardt and Pope Benjamin who also performed well.
So it was a pillar of green and gold on the podium as all three Australian flags fluttered in the wind with the anthem playing proudly in the background.
In the last race of the day, it was again an all-Australian affair.
Tasmania’s Kate Eckhardt got one up on her brother as she took gold with a time of 129.47 seconds and a six second penalty.
This was followed by Erin McGilvray and Fox who wasn’t able to take gold for the second time around.
All three teammates held their gold kangaroos with joy and were very happy with the end results.
It was a brilliant day for all competitors particularly the Australian team which the crowd cheered along screaming “Up,up,up” giving the athletes the determination to paddle through the rapids with an overall strong finishing time.
With an outstanding performance from all competitors this is definitely the opportunity to discover and acknowledge the next generation of whitewater Olympians.