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Paull ends seventh in Duisberg final… hopes it’s good enough for Rio
- Updated: May 22, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
Graham Paull will celebrate his 29th birthday on Sunday filled with the hope that he’s done enough to book his place in the Rio Paralympics later this year.
Pretoria’s Paull came seventh in his KL1 200-metre final at this week’s ICF Paracanoe World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.
He clocked 53.668 seconds in the A Final won by China’s Xiaowei Yu in 50.596.
Now he must wait and see whether thats enough to earn him the nod for Rio.
His semi-final saw him coming second which pushed him through to the final.
Paul, who has only taken up competitive para-canoeing for around two years, shared his thoughts on the final with Road to Rio 2016. ‘I had a bad start in the final so I was playing catch up the whole race but still managed to come seventh which should be enough to get me to Rio but will just wait for the official confirmation.
‘I was really happy with my heat and with my semi-final and in the semi final I managed to get a time of 51.559sec which is two sec off my best time in Milan last year.
‘I wanted to do better than that in the final but just had a really bad start which cost me the race as I was just playing catch up.
‘I feel I really need to work on my starts and I can improve the most in this section of the race as this is where you can win and loose races.
‘’I’ll be working extra hard on my technique and endurance as well as these are all areas that will help me to get better times.’
As for his next race that depends on whether he qualifies. Should he get the nod, which is expected early next month it will be in Rio that he races next.
‘Overall I’m happy with the way things have gone as I’m new to this sport compared to the other paddlers and I’m improving at each international…that’s what I have trying to achieve.’
To get to the next level things will have to get more professional though.
‘I’ve been training by myself up to this stage and am extremely happy with the way things have gone but I need to get a coach involved. It’s something I have been working on this and will hopefully come together soon.’