Kazakhstan have turned to an experienced Australian Canoe Slalom coach to help the team rebuild after missing out on a place at Paris 2024.

Mike Druce, who was Head Coach of the Australian team from 2000 to 2018, has been in Augsburg, Germany providing support to Kazakhstan during the first International Canoe Federation Canoe Slalom World Cup of the season.

Kazakhstan face not having a Canoe Slalom paddler at an Olympic Games for the first time since Athens 2004.

Druce has been working with the Kazakh team for a three-week period and has been encouraged by the number of talented paddlers showing progress.

“I did some work with some of the athletes in Thailand during the Asian development camp,” said Druce.

“I also had the opportunity to work with them in a training camp here which was fantastic.

“They are doing really well and getting some good results in the Asian competitions, looking now at the next Olympic cycle to build and raise the level to qualify for the Games.

“There are lots of good athletes in the team at the moment and they are young so there is a great project there.

“I have just had three weeks with them.

“We have done a lot and it has been great fun as they are a great crew of athletes to work.

“There is a lot of potential and they are really committed, enthusiastic and learning fast so it has been a great opportunity and there is a lot of to look forward to in the future.”

Yekaterina Tarantseva, Alexandr Korobov, Anastassiya Ananyeva, Kuanysh Yerengaipov, Alexandr Kulikov and Adil Amanbayev have been representing Kazakhstan in Augsburg this week.

Kazakhstan coach Svetlana Kulikova said she was delighted to work with Druce as they look to return to the Olympics at Los Angeles 2028.

“It’s a dream to have Mike as a coaching consultant,” said Kulikova.

“I have talked to him several times which is a treat as he has so many ideas and he is able to teach them different things.

“We are good enough in Asia but in the world we still need to learn more.

“From Beijing 2008, we have had a quota, sometimes two, at each Olympic Games but this time in Paris we don’t have a quota.

“We have to learn from our mistakes and do the best with what we have and where we are.

“That’s why I have tried to do things differently to help us for the next Olympic cycle.”

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