27 Feb 2014

Sport: Cook Islands paddler Ella Nicholas happy with recent gains

2:12 pm on 27 February 2014

Cook Islands athlete Ella Nicholas is already back into her studies following a top ten finish at the Oceania Canoe Slalom Championships in Australia.

The 2012 Olympian finished ninth overall having qualified for the final in fifth place.

The 23 year old was the only competitor at the Oceanias not representing New Zealand or Australia and says she was reasonably happy with her first major effort of the year.

"When I got to the final run I couldn't quite repeat the same performance. I still raced a lot better than I had in the past. I did a clean run and reached some of the goals that i had personally set for myself so yeah i was happy with ninth. I definitely felt like I was paddling better: I bet a few more people that I would usually be kind of on par with and the times were on par with some people that would usually be a little bit faster than me so I'm really happy with how I'm kind of progressing over the last year [and] the gains I've made".

Nicholas says fitting training and competition around her medical studies is a constant challenge but she hopes to attend some World Cup races and the World Championships later this year.