Apr 13 2012 by Gordon Bannerman, Perthshire Advertiser Friday
SLALOM canoeist Fiona Pennie is chasing an Olympic dream, writes PA Sport’s Gordon Bannerman.
And her hopes of making Team GB for London 2012 will be tested on the waters at the purpose-built, state of the art Lee Valley White Water Centre in Hertfordshire over the weekend.
The Crieff paddler, who was disappointed with the impact she made at the 2008 Beijing Games after being seeded fifth, believes she has unfinished business in the Olympic arena.
Fifty of Britain’s best Canoe Slalom athletes will be battling it out over a three day race series with their eyes firmly focused on claiming an Olympic place.
Last year’s PA Local Sports Personality of the Year award winner, now 28, has made a huge commitment to her sport in recent years, relocating south of the border and putting in countless hours on the water.
Former Morrison’s Academy pupil Fiona’s track record includes several World Cup race wins.
She admits intensive training on the course means it is like her “back garden” and won’t be short of support.
The selection event consists of three races, with the best two race results counting.
With only one boat per class able to qualify for London, the action is guaranteed to be nail bitingly tight and packed full of highly dramatic racing as the athletes go all out on one of the world’s toughest courses, in order to beat their rivals, and win GB Canoeings nomination to Team GB.
Jurg Gotz, Canoe Slalom head coach commented: “It’s the biggest race of the year other than the Olympics and the athletes and coaches are itching to get out there and compete.
“The preparations have been good with a new level of consistency seen on the course.
“We just hope for good weather conditions over the weekend.”