Olympic medal­ist to visit CO


A New Zealand kayaker and Olympic sil­ver medal­ist is com­ing to Cen­tral Otago to sup­port a group of stu­dents se­lected for the New Zealand de­vel­op­ment squad.

Luuka Jones, 27, who com­peted in the K100 ca­noe slalom at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, won sil­ver after post­ing a blem­ish-free 101.82sec time that was only beaten by Spain’s Ma­ialen Chour­raut.

Cen­tral Otago White­wa­ter Club spokes­woman Julie Nel­son said Jones will be in Alexan­dra on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 8, for a fundrais­ing din­ner at Or­chard Gar­dens to sup­port six Dun­stan High School stu­dents who had been se­lected for the New Zealand un­der-18 ca­noe slalom de­vel­op­ment squad.

Jones, from Tau­ranga, had com­peted in nu­mer­ous ca­noe slalom world cup cam­paigns and the Lon­don Olympics be­fore win­ning sil­ver at the Rio games.

She cre­ated his­tory with her sil­ver medal in the K1 ca­noe slalom, as it was New Zealand’s first medal on the Olympics white­wa­ter.

Jones was still a pre-teen at Otu­moetai In­ter­me­di­ate in Tau­ranga when she noted some life goals on a school English pro­ject, which in­cluded such gems as ‘‘When I grow up, I want to be a world fa­mous kayaker’’ and ‘‘Olympic medal’’.

Tick­ets cost $40 for adults and $25 for pupils from Com­mu­nity House in Alexan­dra.

Luuka Jones se­cured a sil­ver medal in the women’s K1 fi­nal in Rio.

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