Australian McGraths K1 debut fast enough for Worlds final
Australian Curtis McGrath began his quest for a paracanoe team berth this year with victories in the TA K1 200 and V1 200 events at Grand Prix 2 in Penrith today.
The 2014 TA V1 200 World Champion has had a challenging past month, learning the K1 craft from scratch after the International Paralympic Committee announced that his pet event was not included in the 2016 Paralympic program.
With less than a month of training under his belt, McGrath produced a time of 46.30, a time that would have placed him in the final of that event at last year’s World Championships in Moscow.
“I went alright. I think that the results speak for themselves considering how long I have been in it,” McGrath said.
“I had a few issues with my paddle but that is all learning in the teething period you could say.”
It has been a steep learning curve for the Varsity lakes product the past month.
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“I think it was getting the entry of the paddle into the water was a struggle period for me and trying to get that right catch because these paddles are not really forgiving and they have got these curves and throw the blade out unlike the V1 paddles which are flat and come out straight away the same way you put it in.”
“The core is getting a bit of a workout at the moment. It is a bit different to the V1 where can relax a lot more as you have the outrigger there so there are a few things I can work on as well.”
McGrath with the support of Coach Andrea King have been reviewing and watching footage of current world champion Markus Swoboda and his fellow World finalists last year for tips on how to improve.
“Markus Swoboda is the best in the world and we can look at his setup and the way he is doing things. In fact all the guys back to ninth, we can look at all the things they are doing and see if we can make improvements."
“We are seeing how his boat is set up and his seats and the way he paddles as well because he is a big strong guy and it will be interesting to see if we get over to Europe.”
McGrath still has the V1 500 event to come this weekend.
He will then head into a training in Queensland on Monday before preparing for the second selection event, the National Sprint Championships from 11 to 15 March.