Published Thursday 02 August 2012

Mike Dawson was philosophical after his exit at the semi-final stage of the K1 canoe slalom at Lee Valley today.
Dawson, whose world ranking is 51st, did well to qualify for the semi-finals, restricted to 15 kayakers.
However, in his semi-final run he came unstuck at the 19th and 20th gates, incurring 100 penalty seconds, which plummeted him to the bottom of the field.
“I had a good run until about the 16th gate,” said Dawson, “then it became a bit hairy and I missed the 19th gate. I’d had a bit of trouble with it in practice, so I wasn’t 100 per cent confident, though I thought I’d figured it out.”
The 25-year-old Dawson said it was the nature of his sport that such mishaps occurred.
“Sometimes everything works and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s not the sort of sport where you can be conservative and play safe.”
He said he’d received wonderful support from the New Zealand team and also from the kayaking community in New Zealand.
“They’ll have got up in the middle of the night to watch, so I’m gutted if I let them down.”
Dawson, who grew up in Tauranga but now lives in Rotorua when he is at home, has been coached by his father, Les, for the past three years. His family is certainly involved in the sport – his mother was one of the officials at the canoe slalom.
Because of his time penalty, Dawson finished with a total time of 207.63 seconds. The top semi-finalist was Slovenian Peter Kauzer, with a time of 96.02s.
However, in the final Kauzer dropped to sixth and Italian Daniele Molmenti raced through the course in just 93.43s for the gold medal.