Team camaraderie spur Australian Canoe Sprint Development Squad to Asia Pacific Cup victory

The Australian Canoe Sprint Team put on a dominant display at the 2023 Asia Pacific Cup held in Lake Karapiro, New Zealand, winning an impressive 19 gold medals, 15 silver medals, and 6 bronze medals.

With such a commanding performance, Australia was able to retain the overall Asia Pacific title and cup against their rivals from New Zealand, Singapore and Japan.

With athletes competing across U16, U18 and U21 divisions, Paddle Australia’s National Performance Pathways Lead, Kenny Wallace, said the Asia Pacific Cup is an important racing experience for the developing Australian Team.

“This event provides our development squad with the opportunity to test their skills against some of the top-level competitors through Oceania and Asia and learn from these experiences,” Wallace said.

“The team’s success at the event is a testament to their hard work and dedication to paddling, as well as the excellent coaching and support provided by their daily training environment.

“Many of the athletes also receive support from their National State Institute or Academy, and this cannot go unrecognised.”

The event started on a high for the Australian Team with Australian cycling legend and Paris 2024 Australian Olympic Team chef de mission Anna Meares presenting to the squad before the competition commenced.

Meares’ advice and wisdom from her own track cycling days encouraged and inspired the athletes, while reinforcing the importance of teamwork and camaraderie in achieving success at the highest level of competition.

“Anna highlighted the significance of representing your country on the world stage, and by presenting the athletes with their Australian racing singlets, it made this event even more special for many athletes making their international debuts,” Wallace said.

Wallace said the impressive results on the water reflected the team’s focus on camaraderie, fun, and friendship over the duration of the camp and competition.

“The team was able to create new bonds and connections, not only with their teammates but also with athletes from other countries, which was invaluable to their growth and development as athletes and individuals,” he said.

“With such a talented and dedicated group of athletes, as well as strong leadership, coaching and support, there is no doubt that many of the young athletes in this team will continue to achieve great things on the international stage in the years to come.

“A special mention must go to [coach] Christine Duff for the outstanding work she had done in the lead-up and during the event. The Australian Officials that travelled over to help run the event and the coaches on the team that shared their knowledge and helped create this experience.

“Overall, the Australian Canoe Sprint Team’s success at the Asia Pacific Cup was a tremendous achievement, highlighting their exceptional talent, teamwork, and commitment to the sport. The experience gained from the event will undoubtedly help them in their future competitions and contribute to the growth and development of the sport in Australia.”

See all results from the 2023 Asia Pacific Cup HERE

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