Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Luuka Jones: Father's joy at Luuka's silver lining

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Luuka Jones embarked on her road to Olympic glory at the age of 11. PHOTO/FILE
Luuka Jones embarked on her road to Olympic glory at the age of 11. PHOTO/FILE

The father of Tauranga's Luuka Jones has spoken of the ecstatic moment his daughter claimed a silver Olympic medal.

Luuka's father Rod Jones said it had been an exciting morning for the family, who got up to watch the 4am semi-final.

"I was jolly nervous, we are a close family. We all know how she would have been feeling. I know how hard she has focused, and her sacrifices. I felt it intensely.

"We are so so proud of her."

Rod Jones said it had been a long journey for his 27-year-old daughter. She had shown an interest in the sport from as early as 9 years old but had always wanted to compete at the Olympics.

Luuka Jones started seriously paddling at 11 and at 17 moved to England to pursue her dream.

"We knew it was going to be a long and slow process but she is a smart girl and she has done it.

"This was her dream."

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