21 Sep 2015

Jones misses canoe slalom world final

8:26 am on 21 September 2015

Tauranga's Luuka Jones finished an agonising 10th of a second away from qualifying for the women's final at the Canoe Slalom World Championships.

Luuka Jones at the 2012 Olympics.

Luuka Jones at the 2012 Olympics. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Two two second penalties derailed the 26-year-old's semi-final on the brutal Lee Valley course in London, although she comfortably qualified a K1 women's spot for New Zealand at next year's Olympics.

"I wasn't even concentrating on that this weekend but qualifying is obviously a really good outcome," an otherwise disappointed Jones said.

"I was really lucky to qualify for Beijing so young and London was a great experience but now I've got so much support behind me, Rio should be a really good Games. There's enough time to have a good solid buildup and work on a few things."

Jones' semi-final, raw time of 107.51seconds would've been the sixth-fastest and close to the medals in the final, had it not been for the penalties.

"My coach and I had a really good plan and I nailed some parts of it but there were just a few parts I didn't execute that well and lost a bit of time. Two touches put me back a lot - there were a lot of mistakes out there today and it just shows the difficulty of the course."

Katerina Kudejova (Czech Republic) won the final with a time of 103.62, from Germans Ricarda Funk and Melanie Pfeifer, with only Kudejova and Funk recording clear runs as the tough course bared its teeth.

Jones will watch fellow Kiwi Mike Dawson attempt to go one better than her in the men's K1, with Dawson top-qualifer after the semi-finals.

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