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Massie plans next step after strong Buenos Aires performance

17 October 2018

BUENOS AIRES 2018: Jenaya Massie is already planning how she will lift her canoe paddling to the next level after finishing her competition at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games (YOG).

The Sunshine Coast paddler made the quarter finals in both the head-to-head canoe sprint and the slalom obstacle race.

She was particularly pleased with how she improved over the duration of the event, finishing with the slalom on Monday in 11th place.

“From my first race to the third I dropped three seconds, so I couldn’t be happier," said Massie.

"I nailed the ramp, nailed all my turns, and just worked on everything that Jess [Fox] told me to do, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

“In the kayak I knew that all the Hungarians and all the Europeans are really high skilled and really fast, I had seen their results at Worlds. So I was just hoping to do my best, and know that when I get off the water that was the hardest I could have gone.”

Massie had the chance to train with Slalom World Champion Jess Fox in Argentina and said that was a very valuable opportunity prior to her YOG debut.

“Jess helped me work on all my turns and the angle of my blade to help me finish off this course. I was really focusing on her tips today and I’ve made big improvements from the trials in Barcelona [in April], to how I performed today.”

The 16-year-old has also been training with Canoe Sprint Olympians Kenny Wallace and Alyce Burnett.

 “Leading up to the Olympic Hopes Sprint Regatta in Poland [in September] I did quite a bit of work with Kenny Wallace and Alyce Burnett. They’re both Gold Coast based so we keep in touch and I will definitely be asking for their advice before I come back out onto world teams.”

With words of advice from some of Australia’s most successful paddling Olympians, and with the YOG experience under her belt, Massie is ready to hone in her skills before her next integrational appearance.

“I’ve learned that racing is hard, and you have to back up racing with less than half an hour between the races,” she said.

“But I’m a surf girl, so used to all of that and it’s taught me a lot.

“When I get home I’ve got Surf Lifesaving Worlds in Adelaide, so I’m hoping to go alright in that, and then get back into the kayak season. I need to just work on my technique now before I take on the next level.

“Worlds next year would obviously be the main goal, but I want to go home and really focus on my technique, work with Kenny and Alyce and my coach Shane and just get the little things right before I go back on the world stage.”

Jenaya Massie was the sole Australian representative at the YOG canoeing competition after securing the quota for the Oceania region at the World Youth qualifying event in Barcelona, Spain in April.

The special format of the Youth Olympic Games competition tested the versatility of the athletes in the sport, with paddlers having to contest both the head-to-head sprint as well as a head-to-head slalom obstacle course on flat water.

Massie finished eleventh in the head-to-head sprint race on Friday, before also making the quarter final in the slalom obstacle race on Monday.

She will be competing next at the 2018 Lifesaving World Championships in Adelaide (16 November to 2 December 2018) before the domestic canoe sprint season starts in December.

Paddle Australia/olympics.com.au

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