Tony Takes on the Training Sessions
Canoeing's 64 athletes at the Youth Olympic Games have taken to the water to perfect their technique in their upcoming Canoe Sprint and Canoe Slalom races. Waiting on the water to give them some expert advice is World Champion, Tony Estanguet.
Many of the athletes are facing a real challenge of the crossover of disciplines. Most focus on one so racing in the other is difficult. Thankfully Tony Estanguet, as our Athlete Role Model, was there on hand to give tips on paddling techniques including dealing with the starting ramps.
The starting ramp, Tony explained, is a particular problem for Canoe Sprint specialists who have little experience with entering the water in such a way. Tony was giving advice to Armenian athlete, Edgar Babayan and within half and hour the young Edgar had perfected his entry.
One brave athlete, Canada's Hayden Daniels, challenged Tony to a race. The two completed the full Canoe Slalom course in a genuine race. Tony, of course won, but the Canadian put up a good fight and looked strong at the start. Talking after, Hayden said about the format, “…it's really different to what I'm used to, I'm used to whitewater Slalom but it's pretty fun. I like the ramp, it can really make or break your run... it's pretty cool.”
When asked about paddling with Tony Estanguet, Hayden continued, “My coach is always telling me and showing me videos of how he paddles and how my technique should be so it's cool to paddle against the world's best... racing Tony on the course, I was a bit sloppy in places because I was going too fast, I needed to slow down and focus on my technique.”
Commenting on his race against the World Champion, he said; “It's the first time I raced on the course, you can't just go and ask your competitors to race you so it was nice to have someone who I could actually race, even if it was at Tony's level!” Way to go Hayden!