It’s been an eventful couple of weeks since I touched down in Prague. With the World Cup Final, a trip to the 2011 Sprint Canoe World Championships, and now training full-on here in Bratislava, there really hasn’t been a stop.
The World Cup Final in Prague didn’t go as well as hoped. As I have referenced a number of times, with the amount of time I have spent training and living there, Prague is like my European home course. I was looking to better my performance from last year’s World Cup, and after a strong couple of runs in the qualifier, I was feeling on form. I was off to a strong start in the semi-final, and was fastest at the midway split, however, I took a touch in the lower section of the course that not only added two-seconds to my run, but slowed me down as I became a little more passive to avoid touching another gate. In Prague, if you are fast enough, you can get away with one-touch....but two-touches, forget it (unless your Vavrinc Hradliek, or Matuesz Polaczyk). Anyways, I ended up 13th, and as you can imagine was a bit disappointed. As this was the World Cup Final, I ended up ranked 12th on the overall World Cup.
Following Prague, the team headed south to Bratislava, Slovakia, where we are now based, and will be through to the World Championships. Seeing that this will be the site for our World Champs in September, getting as much training on the course here will certainly be advantageous. Training is going well, the beauty with Bratislava, there is always something new to learn, which keeps it fresh here. We can also tell that the Worlds are quickly coming. Everyday something new is being built at the course. I am getting excited to race.
This past weekend, coach Michal and I ventured further south to Szeged, Hungary to watch my all of my friends race in the 2011 Sprint Canoe World Championships. I have never been to a Sprint race before, and since Hungary is the epi-center of Sprint Canoeing, I figured why not! We were not disappointed. As most of you know, Adam VanKoeverdan dusted the competition in the K1-M 1000M final. It was inspiring to watch....and let me tell you, it was no fluke. I don’t know any other athlete who trains as hard as Adam does, and to see the hard work pay off, again, reassured my belief that hard work does pay dividends.