Failed to qualify through the semi-finals here in Prague yesterday. After such an awesome World Cup campaign last season, (I made the last 4 World Cup finals consecutively!) it's pretty disappointing to not even make it past heats here on my favourite race course... but it's not all bad!
As always, I really enjoyed racing here! You get such a buzz from the crowd / commentary and the layout of the course just makes everything seem fast and intense! Despite that, I love that I managed to find a certain calmness in my paddling, something I lacked last time out at the European Championships. Happy that I was more 'me'! I've actually done double the training volume I would usually leading into a race too as my priorities lie later in the season. Happy to feel like the extra fatigue didn't appear to have much of an effect on me this time.
The important thing now is to not be too down about the result.. I didn't actually do a lot wrong yesterday but my mistakes were costly! I was very 'on plan' and delivered some technical moves to a higher level than I would have last season and I raced with the confidence to chill and express myself technically.
With a 'reactive' decision on the final upstream gate I backed my skills to take it super tight after my original plan was no longer an option. Happy I had the confidence to take it on that way, but unfortunately I didn't quite get my whole head around the gate. I thought I had at the time and I think it looked that way to most people because I was safely through qualification when I got off the river! By the time I made it back to the team area though the video judge had had a look from another angle and put the 50-second penalty against my name. It's a shame but sometimes that's canoe slalom! I've seen the video and I agree with the decision so there's no complaints from me, happy that it's a fair competition!
I'll be back in action next week in Augsburg, Germany looking to put things right! Cheers!