DAWSON (NZL), JONES (NZL), New Zealand coach WALSH (GBR)

RIO DE JANEIRO - Comments from canoe slalom paddlers Mike DAWSON (NZL) and Luuka JONES (NZL) and New Zealand coach Campbell WALSH (GBR) at a press conference at the Main Press Centre on Tuesday.


On why wind makes canoe slalom difficult:

"When it gets windy it's probably the only weather condition that it's hard to compete in slalom. It just adds a whole other dimension of variability to the run."


On the course at Whitewater Stadium:

"I really like the venue. In terms of volume, it's not as big as London but it seems a bit more manageable. I think there'll be some fast racing out there. It's a beautiful course visually, it's very appealing."

On how they have seen Rio prepare for the Olympic Games since first visiting in November last year:

"We've seen the city develop. When we first arrived in November for our initial training camp and the test event there wasn't really much of a sign that there was an Olympic Games around the corner. Even the last training camp at the beginning of July it didn't really seem like there was an Olympic Games going on. They've really chipped away and got everything ready in time. Our Cook Islands (COK) friends have been asking us for advice and we feel pretty educated in giving them a few tips on Rio."

On the development of kayak slalom in New Zealand:

"It's huge in Europe and that's why I moved over to Nottingham (Great Britain) when I was 18 to learn from the Europeans. In New Zealand over the last eight years it's evolved heaps and we're really excited to have our own world-class white water in Manukau (district of Auckland). We've had some juniors do really well on the world stage, the junior world championships, so it's really exciting to see the next generation coming through."

Campbell WALSH (GBR) - coach

On his athletes' prospects at Rio 2016:

"They're outside chances of a medal. I'm sure they wouldn't be upset if I said they wouldn't be favourites for a medal."

On their combined 10 weeks of training camps at Whitewater Stadium in preparation for the Games:

"We wanted to spend as much time getting to learn the intricacies, the environment, the feel and power of the water."

On his switch from paddling for Great Britain to coaching New Zealand after failing to qualify for London 2012:

"I retired at that point. I was deciding what to do next in my life and decided I'd go to work in an office in a suit and make a lot of money, but then decided that didn't suit me. I'd known Luuka (JONES, NZL) from her time on the circuit and because she's spent time in Nottingham. I thought she was an athlete with potential.

"I think I've got one of the best jobs in the world. I really enjoy it. We're a small unit and it's really good. We've got the freedom to individually tailor things a lot more."

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