Paul Sunderland insists his Youth Olympic Games adventure has already exceeded all expectations after booking his spot in the K1 slalom semi-finals.
Sunderland got his Youth Olympic Games underway on Saturday, however just fell short of the quarter-finals in the K1 sprint event.
But the 17-year-old was back out at Xianwu Lake yesterday (Tuesday) for his preferred K1 slalom event, and immediately set about stamping his mark on the competition.
Sunderland finished the qualification heats as the fourth fastest before breezing through the last-16 and then beating France’s Arthur Taubner in his head-to-head quarter-final.
This means the teenager will have two chances for a medal today (Wednesday) as he the winners of the semi-finals face off for gold while the losers battle it out for bronze.
“I really enjoyed the slalom event and I ended on a high with the quarter-final, that was a super good paddle that was,” Sunderland said.
“I had a really nice landing off the ramp and the paddle felt really strong as well so I am really pleased with that heading into the semi-final.
“The start is massively important. In my first run in the morning it was a bit sketchy and I got a lot of water on top of the bow and it was a bit slow setting off.
“But I learnt from it and pulled it altogether for the quarter-final and I was really pleased with how it went.”
Victoria Murray was also in fine form in the women’s K1 slalom event, finishing fifth fastest after the qualification rounds.
However she just missed out on a semi-final place as she lost here head-to-head quarter-final with Amalie Hilgertova of the Czech Republic by just 1.874 seconds.
“It was so close but to be honest I am quite happy with how I did because the person I was against, she is a really good paddler,” she said.
“So I am actually quite happy that it was quite close, even if it just slipped away towards the end.
“We were pretty close together all the way through so I am pretty happy with my effort.”
Elsewhere, Bradley Denny’s time in Nanjing came to an end as despite easing past France’s Thomas Koenig in his morning match, the Team GB archer couldn’t find a way past Brazilian Marcus D’Almeida later in the afternoon as he lost 6-0 to the eventual silver medallist.
“I was pretty pleased with how I performed in China, it is my best result at international event as an individual,” he said.
“To do it here at a Youth Olympic Games – I am pretty pleased with that.
“The morning’s shoot was spot on but in the afternoon it just wasn’t quite up to it I shot a few loose shots and just wasn’t strong enough.”
Meanwhile, Francesca Summers failed to grab another medal as she finished the mixed international team relay in tenth place alongside Polish partner Bartosz Stanislaw Hoffmann.
And Henry Choong, paired with France’s Laure Roset was seven places further back.
“I paired with the French athlete and didn’t really know her before this. So it was really good to spend some time with her and practice my French,” Choong said.
“It’s been great experience in Nanjing, there is nothing else quite like the Olympics and I’ve really enjoy everything about it.”
© Sportsbeat 2014