Luuka Jones didn’t seem to have much trouble today in adapting to the women’s canoe slalom.
The 32-year-old Tauranga paddler, who is in her fourth Olympics, had two qualifying runs. She recorded 116.55s first up and improved to 115.19s on her second run. That was good enough for 11th overall. The fastest qualifier was Briton Mallory Franklin, who had two sizzling runs with a best of 105.06s.
With 22 in the field and 18 advancing to the semi-final tomorrow, Jones was never in much danger of being eliminated. The top 10 from the semis will move on to the final.
Jones perhaps benefitted from all the time she spent on the course in preceding days while contesting the kayak (double-bladed) event. The canoe slalom is very much her secondary event, but she looked comfortable today.
New Zealand’s representative in the men’s K1 slalom, Gilbert Callum, had a nightmare first run. He was timed at a respectable 97.85s, but had 54 penalty seconds added for missing a gate, which left him a whopping 55.34s behind the leader.
He improved significantly on his second attempt with 101.15s, but it was still only good enough to place him 23rd overall in the field of 24 and he therefore was not one of the 20 who advanced to the semis.Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games