Canoeing South Africa
13 Sept 2016
Written by: Nick Tatham
Paull fit and firing for Paralympic quest
Durban – Para-paddler Graham Paull will make his Paralympic Games debut on
Wednesday following two ICF Para-Canoeing World Championships appearances
and an A Final in the men’s KL1 200m event at the 2015 World Champs means he
has set his sights on a strong performance at the global showpiece.
Paull ended fifth in the A Final at the World Championships in 2015
finishing under a second outside of the top three however despite ending so
close to a medal he is not putting any podium pressure on himself heading
into Wednesday’s heats.
“I am not setting myself too higher expectations and I am just looking to
race to my full potential throughout the Games,” Paull said from Rio de
“Paddling a personal best on the biggest stage possible is definitely my
main goal and if that gets me into the top five then I will be incredibly
happy with my effort but I am just really excited to get out there and
The sprint course in Rio came under scrutiny during the Olympic Games last
month due to issues involving side winds and weed that interfered with
paddler’s rudders and paddles however Paull is not letting those sentiments
get the better of him as he looks forward to competition.
“I am feeling strong and I am ready to race on the course although it is
different to anything that I have competed on before.
“Being from the Highveld I have never raced in salt water which is different
but the set up for the course seems quite similar to my training base at
Roodeplaat Dam so there are some similarities for me to fall back on.
“There seems to be a constant cross wind on the course and I have trained
for this so I hope that the wind does blow on competition day because I have
planned a lot of training with that in mind.
“Other than that the course is great and I am really looking forward to
getting out there and doing my thing!” a focused Paull mentioned.
Staying out of harm’s way before an event is a priority for athletes as they
want to be on top of their game going into their discipline and with his
first step towards Paralympic glory coming up Paull feels he is in the right
frame of mind mentally as well as physically ready for the challenge ahead.
“I have been working incredibly hard back home and getting myself into the
best possible shape has been important and I am feel strong and I am ready
“Now I am just excited to see how all the hard work pays off over the next
few days!” he said excitedly.
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With his Paralympic Games
debut around the corner, South African para-paddler Graham Paull is in
high spirits as he prepares for his Men's KL1 200m heats in Rio de Janeiro
on Wednesday, 14 September.
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