Topic: Waka Ama

New Zealand Waka Ama teams lose battle for top spot

By Rahia Timutimu

The master men's team was one of the first teams that had a chance to win a gold medal for NZ at this Waka Ama world’s competition.

With hardly any time together, they were relying on individual training to get them over the line first.

In lane 6 for the final of the master men's w12 race, Tahiti were too strong. In the end the master’s men missed out on a medal, placing fourth.

The open women’s w12 final was next, these women hadn’t paddled together before this competition and had the second fastest time of the event

“I think we can do the best we can do for our country and for our families back home, we’ve got 5 seconds to get down and tighten up on Tahiti which is going to be a really hard ask especially after a long day of paddling and heading into the semis and then the final,” says competitor Mereana Hodges.

In lane 5, their main competition was Tahiti who had the fastest time.

Unfortunately only 11 paddlers of the 12 man team made registration, which ended in a ‘did not show’ (DNS) for the team, missing out on a possible medal overall.

In the last race of the day, the New Zealand open men's team had the last chance to win a gold medal in lane five.

According to Turi Hodges, “The team had a mixture of different paddlers from around the country, they've only been together for a short period of time.”

In the end, Tahiti again were too strong, NZ had to fight with Brazil for third place.