Kayaker comes 9th at Youth Olympics

Kensa Randle
Kensa Randle
New Zealand's only kayaker at the Youth Olympics in China has come ninth in the K1 obstacle slalom event.

Kensa Randle (15), of Earnscleugh, ended up one place outside the top-eight position required to advance to the next stage of racing, after making it to the final 16 during racing on Tuesday evening (NZ time).

Randle's time was just over 2sec off that posted by the kayaker who came eighth, and about 7sec behind the time of the first place qualifier in her last event at the games.

In an email to the paddler's mother after the race, coach Nikki Whitehead said Kensa was happy with her top-10 finish.

''I think for a split second I sensed some initial disappointment from her but then she said 'I think that was my best effort; I don't think I could've made two seconds; I am happy with that race'.''

Randle had done ''extremely well'' and the Youth Olympics had been an ''invaluable'' racing experience, Whitehead said.

Randle's mother, Maureen Crampton, said she was ''absolutely stoked'' with the result.

''Ninth - that's brilliant. More than the result, we have been blown away by the level of professionalism from the New Zealand team and we have been really grateful for the support.''

Ms Crampton thanked all of those who had supported her daughter's trip to the games.

Earlier in the games, Randle competed in the K1 sprint, but was disqualified after becoming entangled with a marker buoy and capsizing.

Randle will arrive home on Saturday and take three weeks off before attending further training camps, Ms Crampton said.

Until then, Randle, who takes NCEA level 1 by correspondence, will have homework to catch up on.

The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympics, the second summer Youth Olympics, began on August 16, and conclude today.

More than 3500 athletes from around the world are competing,

including a team of 51 from New Zealand.


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