A sense of relief washed over Suzy Cumming as she lay down her paddle and celebrated with her teammates.

After 36 gruelling minutes on Cairn's Tully River, the New Zealand under-23 women's rafting team had claimed victory in the fourth and final race of the world championships, finishing four seconds ahead of Australia.

But as the Kiwi team congratulated one another on a job well done, Cumming glanced back to the Australian team.

Something wasn't right.


"They weren't all good. They were all crowded around one of the girls. They had taken her helmet off and had an inhaler," Cumming