Rio Olympics 2016: Silver medal for Luuka Jones

Luuka Jones of New Zealand holds up her silver medal after finishing second in the canoe slalom at the Rio Olympics. Photo / Photosport
Luuka Jones of New Zealand holds up her silver medal after finishing second in the canoe slalom at the Rio Olympics. Photo / Photosport

It's a surprise silver for New Zealand. The Tauranga-born Luuka Jones has won the Olympic silver medal in the canoe slalom.

Jones was the seventh quickest qualifier for the 10-person final this morning, but pulled out an outstanding run as the fourth paddler.

Her silver medal is the third silver for New Zealand at these games. After a dismal couple of days, it made for an encouraging Friday along with the gold that went to Hamish Bond and Eric Murray in the rowing.

Jones was leading but was narrowly beaten by Spaniard Maialen Chourraut who took gold.

The 27-year-old Jones is at her third Olympics, having been eliminated in the heats at Beijing in 2008, and making the K-1 semifinals in London four years ago when she finished 14th.

Jones said her surprise Olympic success will further her dream of putting the sport "on the map".


"I was so proud as a Kiwi to see the flag go up," she said.

"One of my goals is to put canoe slalom on the map in New Zealand ... hopefully this will grow the sport in New Zealand.

"I left nothing out there ... I wasn't really thinking anything, I just bared my teeth and went as hard as I could.

"I just have to thank my family and friends back home ... without their support I wouldn't be here. And we had a really good vibe within the New Zealand unit."

- NZ Herald

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