Silver start to career
OLD BONALBO'S Ros Lawrence almost made the perfect start to her senior international career, claiming the silver medal in the women's C1 in the opening round of the ICF Slalom Canoe Kayak World Cup in Pau, France, at the weekend.
It was the first running of the women's C1 event at world cup level and Lawrence's first time competing at a world cup.
The youngest of the three canoe-kayaking Lawrence sisters, Ros was beaten into second place by China's Nanqin Cen, while fellow Australian competitor Leanne Guinea finished third.
Older sister and Olympic silver medallist Jacqui Lawrence, who is sitting out this year after her efforts in Beijing, said Ros had been quick to take up the C1 after the women's event was added to the international program.
“It is really big for her as it is the first major World Cup that the C1 women has been internationally recognised and it is her first World Cup race ever,” Jacqui Lawrence said.
“Although it is still a developing class, and there weren't a lot of girls competing, it is just going to get bigger and bigger over time.”
C1 differs from the K1 event in that competitors kneel on their craft and only use one paddle.
It's long been a recognised category in Australia but the rest of the world is now playing catch-up, according to Jacqui.
“As soon as Ros found out it was going to potentially become an internationally recognised race she started training in that as well as the K1,” she said.
“So in comparison to some countries, Australia is quite far ahead in the C1 women's development and the rest of the world has only just started.”
Unfortunately, illness robbed middle sister Kate of her best form in the K1 women's World Cup event in France.
A winner on the circuit last year, Kate has been suffering from a bout of 'flu since arriving in Europe on June 14 and finished in 15th place.
“As soon as she got off the plane she came down with some kind of 'flu and had to have a week off the water,” Jacqui said.
“She didn't get to paddle much in Spain (when they arrived) and France, and what with the travel, jet lag and 'flu, she probably wouldn't have been at her best.”
The World Cup's next two stops will be in Slovakia and Germany and both Lawrence sisters will be seeking to improve with more racing in the coming weeks.