UniSA Sport News

Kayakers Cat McArthur and Jayden Ellis represented Australia at World Cups

Posted By UniSA Sport on 19/06/2017

Two UniSA students recently competed in Canoe Sprint World Cups as part of the Australian Senior Sprint Kayak Team.

Cat McArthur and Jayden Ellis both competed in World Cups 2 and 3, in Hungary and Serbia respectively.

McArthur had some great improvement in the two events finishing seventh in the K1 1000m and fourth in the B final of K4 500m in World Cup 2, before placing fourth in the K1 1000m and making the A final in K4 500m and coming seventh in World Cup 3.

Ellis raced in the K2 1000m event and had some good results, coming third in the semi-final in World Cup 2 and almost making the A final before finishing fifth in a tight B final.

In World Cup 3 his results weren’t quite as good, however he was still involved in some high quality and tense racing.

Both athletes learnt some important lessons while at the World Cups.

McArthur hadn’t competed at an international event since 2015, so it was all about being exposed to that level of racing again, “we were racing against the best in the world, the depth is very big in Europe,” McArthur said.

“It was important to learn race strategy and I need to work on the back end of races, which was a big lesson before World Champs.”

It was Ellis’s first senior team experience, “my partner and I experienced some new things while racing,” Ellis said.

“We found it really hard to find right arousal level between not too excited and not too nervous in order to execute our race plan, and we learnt more about race tactics.”

“We found out that most people in 1000 metre races reserve energy and stay in line until 400 metres to go and then start sprinting.”

“It was also my first time being in the front seat in an international race, I learnt a lot about dictating pace and power, about having lower stroke rates with more power to maintain that energy.”

They are hoping to work on these points in the lead up to the World Championships in Czech Republic in August.

All of McArthur’s kayaking partners are based interstate, so for her it was important to get back into team boats.

In the lead up to the World Championships, she is going to Perth to train with her doubles partner before spending over four weeks at an European Training Centre in Italy that the Australian Institute of Sport have.

“In that environment there will be real focused training times with no distractions. A lot of the girls from interstate are going as well, so they will be competitive, solid sessions.”

“They will be warmer trainings over there too,” she said with a laugh.

Ellis is going to work on his strength in the lead up to the World Championships, spending more time in the gym than paddling.

At the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, they are introducing a 500m race alongside the 1000m.

They will need more power in the shorter race, “that is a transition we all need to make,” Ellis said.

The World Cups were learning in themselves for Ellis, who was one of the youngest competitors at the events.

For Ellis, it was just great being amongst it, “at the training camps, there was multi Olympic gold medallists there to get valuable insights from while we did 30km a day,” he said.

“I learnt to raise expectations of myself and raise my work ethic, so I am an accepted part of the senior team and feel a part of it.”

“It’s about those one percenters off the water, so I can cope with the increased intensity and pressure of racing.”

Written by Kirralee Thomas