Thompson ready to paddle

22 Aug 2014

Angus Thompson in action © Canoeing Australia

CANOE/KAYAK: Sydneysider Angus Thompson is ready to hit the water and paddle when the Canoe/Kayak competition gets under way on Day 7 at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

“I am ready to compete. I am feeling alright mentally and physically. I want to get out there and start,” the 17-year-old said.

Thompson, who arrived in Nanjing over a week ago, discussed with his coach how to manage his preparation while living in the Village.

“My coach and I went through a plan as to what we were going to do during the week. We started off with some heavy sessions and then we died down to easier sessions, more technical stuff. We have also fit in some CEP programs and seen some rugby.”

Tomorrow, Thompson competes in the K1 Sprint, completing a figure of eight while racing head to head against his opponent.

“I am in a long unbalanced boat that goes really fast, which is not my natural event, but we all have to do it,” the St Ignatius College Riverview student said.

“You both start in opposite ways and go around a right hand turn first and cut back across and come back to the other side. Both athletes cross in the middle and it is head to head sprint.”

There are 18 paddlers in the competition with the top 16 advancing through. The top eight go straight to the semi-finals while the remaining eight go to the repechage, of which only six progress further.

“It is a big cut off from semis to finals. There are just four people in the final,” the Turramurra local he said.

On Day 10, Thompson will contest the Obstacle Slalom also in the K1. The competition has the same qualifying system as the Sprint and is also head to head.

“You start on a platform and you go down a ramp. Then you zigzag through eight buoys, four on each side, up and back and the finish line is where you started,” he said.

Also included is an Eskimo roll, which Thompsons admits he hadn’t done for a while before arriving in Nanjing.

“I am ok at them.”

Of the 17 other paddlers in the competition, Thompson sees the Slovaks, the Slovenians, the Chinese and the British as his main competitors.

“I am looking to beat the Slovenian and Slovak. They were at the Junior Worlds this year and I am hoping to beat them. I am heading into the race with some good chances.”

Thompson will be cheered on by Olympic silver medallist Jessica Fox, who he trains alongside and who also won the gold medal in Canoe/Kayak at the inaugural Youth Olympics in 2010.

The Canoe/Kayak Head to Head sprint starts at 9am at the Nanjing Rowing-Canoeing School on Day 7 of competition and runs for two days. The Obstacle Slalom commences on Day 10, also lasting for two days.

Frances Cordaro