01:59,
Sunday,
20 June 2021.

New Zealand kayakers want Olympics re-run


By  Unsigned,   Thursday, 13 March 2008

Clumps of weeds in the water at the Sydney International Regatta Centre hampered New Zealand kayakers' chances of qualifying for the Beijing Olympics, it has been claimed.

Kayaking officials for New Zealand want a re-run of the competition in which paddlers Troy Burbridge and Erin Taylor were beaten by Australians Tony Schumacher and Alana Nicholls.

New Zealand manager Grant Restall told NZPA: "It is an outdoor sport and people accept that, but for Olympic qualification it's got to be fair.

"Troy's very upset and so is Erin. They've put a lot of time and effort into this and to come out and not get a fair race is pretty gut-wrenching for any athlete. They knew they only had one chance today."

The outcome of the controversial event means that both Schumacher and Nicholls have won the Oceania qualifying spots for the Olympics.

Kayaking officials said that because the Australians also had to cope with weeds in the water, the contest was fair.

New Zealand's Olympic silver medallist Ben Fouhy, who finished third in his heat, also said that the waterway was in a bad state.