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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 19 August, 2019
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Hannah Craig paddles into canoe slalom semi-finals

The 27-year-old Antrim paddler had it all to do before her second run but she turned in a stunning performance, hitting just one gate and notching a time of 108.99.

Hannah Craig in action today.
Hannah Craig in action today.
Image: INPHO/Presseye/Wiliam Cherry

HANNAH CRAIG HAS booked her spot in the semi-finals of canoe slalom at the Lee Valley White Water Centre today.

The 27-year-old Antrim paddler had it all to do before her second run but she turned in a stunning performance, hitting just one gate and notching a time of 108.99.

Speaking to our man, Will Downing, after the heats, the Armoy native said her overwhelming feeling was one of relief.

“It is such an exciting course to paddle on,” she said.

Just sitting there at the start, you know that the crowd is amazing and the water is amazing and you know it is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m delighted that I can go to the semi-final on Thursday and do it all over again.

Mixed run

“My first run was sort of a mixed one,” Craig added. “The lines were good, it was just small, little bits that were missing but the little bits ended up making a big difference.”

She said that some of the penalties she incurred on the first run were contested but she did not let that affect her focus. She added that she knew there was more out on the course to make up time on her second run and she was delighted that she improved her time. Craig commented:

The intensity of it is very unique. There has never been a course like this that keeps on coming and keeps on coming. There is no flat section at all so you constantly have to be placing the boat in the right position.

Craig will target a place in the final, which is also being held on Thursday, but she knows that the rapid course can surprise even the best competitors.

She said, “Anything can happen. As you saw today with the world champion, she got a 50 (point penalty) on her first run. With this sport, you never know until you cross the finish line.

“I’ll just go with my plan and try to carry it out the best I can.”

AUDIO: Listen to the interview with Hannah Craig here >

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