Thursday, July 31, 2008

European Championships

Squirt Boating star Claire O’Hara wins Bronze at the European Freestyle Kayaking Championships in Ourense Spain.

What a week I have just returned from the European Championships in Spain where I have been competing in two disciplines of kayaking, freestyle and squirt.

With over 6 months of training for this competition behind me I was feeling fit and paddling well. With the temperatures reaching 39 degrees the conditions were hard. I spent just over a week in Spain before the competition started training and acclimatizing. The team and coaches had high hopes for me in both events. The competition didn’t start to well a as combination of nerves, pressure and bad luck saw me finish in 13th place in the freestyle just missing the semi final cut.

A day later and I was back on the water, this time in my squirt boat. I had managed to pull my head back together, just in time. I was to compete in a unisex event against some of Europe’s top men and women paddlers. Of the 12 paddlers in the heat only 5 would go through. I focused and paddled hard and finished in 3rd place.

The finals day quickly came and it was time to compete again. I kept up the standard of paddling from the heats day and fought my way onto the podium finishing top squirt boating lady and 3rd overall, winning the bronze medal.

Next year I hope to be heading out to the World Championships in Switzerland in a bid to become World Champion.