McDowell qualifies for Rio Olympics
Porirua kayaker Marty McDowell took a big step towards selection for the Olympics at his last opportunity, the recent Oceania canoe sprint championships in Adelaide.
The 28-year-old paddler did enough in his K1 1000m heat to qualify a boat for Rio de Janeiro, subject to New Zealand Olympic Committee approval.
He finished second behind Australia’s Daniel Bowker, with paddlers from the Cook Islands and Guam finishing well adrift. Australia have already qualified a K1 1000m spot.
McDowell continued his good form in his semi-final, clocking a slick 3min 31.73s, and beating Canada’s former Olympic gold medallist Adam van Kouverdan.
‘‘That was a really tough semi and I was stoked to beat Adam, who’s one of the best around,’’ McDowell said.
‘‘Getting through the heat was pretty good because there was so much riding on it and you never want to take a race like that lightly, but the semifinal gave me a much better idea of where I was at.’’
In the final, McDowell finished eighth of nine in 3min 42.20s.
Marty McDowell in action at the Oceania sprint championships in Adelaide on February 13.