Dawson has unfinished kayaking business

Last updated 10:55 04/10/2012
Mike Dawson and Sam Sutton
Manuel Arnu
TOP-TWO: New Zealanders, second-placed Mike Dawson (left) and winner Sam Sutton, at last year's world extreme kayaking championships.

Relevant offers

Other Sports

New York Rangers send NHL Eastern Conference finals series to decider Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker gets some advice from Mike Tyson Nice guy Richie McCaw has no time for blaming referees over Crusaders' woes Coach Anthony Peden praises sprint cycling team before their trip to USA and Europe Usain Bolt wins 200m, Asafa Powell the 100m Anaheim Ducks beat Chicago Blackhawks to take lead in NHL Western Conference finals New Zealand track cyclists head to Australia When artificial intelligence bot Claudico takes on poker pros, all bets are off Quiz: Test your sports knowledge - May 26 Jono Hailstone to lead NZ para-cycling programme, succeeding Brendon Cameron

Olympic kayaker Mike Dawson and defending champion Sam Sutton will headline the Kiwi contingent at the world extreme kayaking championships in Austria this weekend.

Sutton will be chasing a third consecutive title on the Otztaler Ache River in Austria's Otztal Valley, while it remains the only major extreme crown Dawson has yet to win, despite second placings in 2009 and 2011.

The Waiariki Academy of Sport stars will be joined on the starting line by fellow New Zealanders Jamie Sutton, Wills Martin and Brendon Baily, although Sam Sutton admits this year could be wide open.

"So far the course has been very exciting with higher water levels than previous years, meaning it is much harder to stay online," Sutton, who set a course record of 55.84secs in his Bliss-Stick Tuna last year, said.

"If the water levels continue to rise with the forecasted rain, it's going to take a very skilled paddler with some luck to win the event, or it might just be a lottery. Regardless, I'm hoping Mike and I can pull a 1-2 finish just like last year and keep that Kiwi domination flowing."

With their podium finishes last year, Sutton, Dawson and German Paul Bockelmann have automatically qualified for the top-48, with 150 of the world's best extreme paddlers having to get through two qualifying runs first. That field includes Olympic whitewater slalom silver medalist Vavra Hradilek - the Czech paddler who spent last summer training in Rotorua with Dawson - and bronze medalist Hannes Aigner (Germany).

The top-48 then race two rounds of knockout competition before the top-15 final.

It's already been a huge year for 25-year-old Dawson, who reached the semifinals of the slalom competition in London at his first Olympics. Building up to the games, he won two titles at the prestigious Teva Mountain Games in Colorado and since London, has had a whirlwind series of races taking him all over the globe.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Shane Cameron beat Kali Meehan on Saturday?

For sure. Cameron will knock him out.

It will be close but I think Cameron on points.

Meehan will knock him out. This is his last fight.

I'm tipping Meehan to win on points.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content