Capture_39Following a national classification process to conform with new ICF classification guidelines and final performance trials, Australian Canoeing (AC) announces a team of 8 Paracanoeing athletes to compete at the  2015 ICF world championships in Milan next month.

National Performance Director, Richard Fox, said “the team represents the growth of Paracanoeing in Australia, it encompasses our world class performers and demonstrates our potential for the future”.

“Our aim is to repeat the podium performances we achieved last year in Moscow, which will be a challenge where some athletes are racing in new events or categories, and to secure as many quotas as possible for Rio 2016″, Fox added.

It has been a trying few months for the sport which has had to adapt to new classification criteria. A number of athletes have missed out on selection or been re classified into different events, where lack of experience and training may mean they will be less competitive.

“Our staff have worked hard in collaboration with the ICF and APC to manage this process and I know while some athletes may be disappointed by the outcomes, their spirit and enthusiasm for the sport remains intact and for those athletes that don’t fit into the new guidelines, AC will provide an Open Para class at national events to continue the momentum that has been created”.

AC funding and performance support is focused on the athletes in Paralympic events in contention for podium position or qualification for Rio 2016. This portion of the team will depart on 19 July to the AIS European Training Centre in Varese and the remainder of the team follows on 4 August.

“We are grateful to the APC, AIS and the State Institutes and Academies that support our Para athletes and their preparation. The ETC provides a world class environment for our final preparation and this year we are lucky that the worlds are being held a stone’s through away in Milan, so our final transition into racing should be quick and easy,” Fox concluded.

Racing starts in Milan on 19 August.

Paralympic Events Primary Entry
Curtis McGrath (QLD) KL2
Dylan Littlehales (NSW) KL3
Sam Bloom (NSW) KL1
Susan Seipel (QLD) KL2
Amanda Reynolds (VIC) KL3

AC funding and performance support will be focused on the primary entry Paralympic athletes with the aim of achieving podium performances and Paralympic qualification quotas forRio 2016.

In addition, AC determined to select athletes to the Team to compete in non Paralympic events and/or as second entries in Paralympic events to foster the promotion and development of Paracanoeing at a national and international level as follows.

Non Paralympic Events / Paralympic Events Secondary Entry
Colin Sieders (NSW) KL2
Curtis McGrath (QLD) VL2
Sam Germein (SA) KL3 – VL3
Susan Seipel (QLD) VL2
Melissa Sullivan (QLD) VL3 – KL3

Where the schedule permits, selected athletes may compete in secondary events at the world championships, e.g. a K1 athlete may compete in V1 and vice versa subject to agreement with the Head Coach and in accordance with the selection criteria regarding selection to multiple events.

Note that the classification listed against each athlete is a national classification only and subject To validation as an international classification by the ICF prior to the world championships.

By Australian Canoeing
Posted: 13/7/2015