Para-canoe world champion Amanda Reynolds will commence her quest for a place in the 2016 Paralympic Games team at the combined Oceania Championships and Grand Prix 2 regatta in Adelaide tomorrow.

CaptureIt is an exciting time for the sport with Para-canoe set to feature at the Paralympic Games this year for the first time.

This week’s event will form the first of two selection trials with the National Sprint Championships in Perth to follow from the 2 to 6 March.

Reynolds will feature on the opening day of racing on Friday alongside a host a big name Para-canoe paddlers including Curtis McGrath and Susan Seipel.

“I am very excited as it is all starting to come along very nicely,” Reynolds said.

“I have certainly got some butterflies but I think that is a good thing as it means that you are hungry for success and eager to perform at your best.”

2015 was a simply outstanding year for Reynolds, winning the KL3 200 World Championship as well as taking out the win at the Olympic Test event in Rio.

But she is well aware that if she is to hold her mantle as the world’s best she needs to continually look for improvements.

For that reason, Reynolds elected to move to the Gold Coast at the end of last year’s international season to work closer with National Para-canoe Head Coach Andrea King.

“I have been focusing on my strength work and getting stronger, along with improving my control and technique which should increase my longevity in paddling,” Reynolds said.

While the Paralympic selection trials are serious business, Reynolds believes that it is important to have fun as an elite athlete and is excited to present her new boat, “Douglas” or “Doug” to the paddling world.

“I am very excited to show off my new rainbow boat,” Reynolds said.

“It is about demonstrating that elite athletes can have fun at the same time.”

The name came about after Reynolds was inspired by the story of boxer James ‘buster’ Douglas and pilot Douglas Bader.

Both men fought against the odds to achieve greatness and act as motivators for Reynolds.

Buster Douglas fought against the odds to defeat Mike Tyson, while Bader recovered from losing both legs to become a squadron leader during the World War II.

Reynolds will feature in the paracanoe K1 200 final on Friday morning at 10:50am local time.

By Australian Canoeing

Posted: 11/2/2016

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