21 Sep 2015

Dawson slips in slalom semi-final

7:12 pm on 21 September 2015

Tauranga's Mike Dawson has finished in a disappointing 28th place in the semi-finals of the canoe slalom world championships in London although he managed to qualify New Zealand's second spot at the Rio Games.

Mike Dawson on his way to 28th in the semifinals of the canoe slalom world championships in London, 2015.

Mike Dawson on his way to 28th in the semifinals of the canoe slalom world championships in London, 2015. Photo: Jamie Troughton/Dscribe Media Services

The kayaker, who qualified for the semi-finals with the fastest time, was left rueing a slip between the 12th and 13th gates at the Lee Valley whitewater course which ruined his hopes of making the top-10 final.

Dawson got caught in the wrong current heading into the gate and lost time getting back on line.

Like his compatriot Luuka Jones, however, he did enough to finish in the top-15 nationals and book a likely second appearance at Olympic level next year.

"Our sport's pretty difficult - when you make a mistake at the top, it usually all falls apart," Dawson said.

"I made a big mistake in the middle that cost me so much time but I was really stoked to be able to hold the rest of the run together and keep my head in the game. I didn't really come here for the Olympic spot - I came here to try and get on the podium. It was going super-well but unfortunately when you make a mistake like that, the podium's out of reach but we still managed to get an Olympic spot which is a bonus."

Dawson's time was 100.29secs, which included a 2sec penalty at the 16th gate.

Young star Jiri Prskavec completed a notable K1 double for the Czech Republic, winning the men's final and adding to Katerina Kudejova's victory in the women's final on Saturday.

Poland's Mateusz Polaczyk was second, while another rising star, United States paddler Michal Smolen, was third.

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