The suspension of Russian athletes from the games due suspected doping has opened up a space for Scott Martlew at the 2016 Rio Paralympics. The high performance Para-Athlete (and true legend) has continued a full training schedule despite failing to qualify in May, so he is ready to give it his all on race day.
Scott Martlew in his Nelo Cinco
I am incredibly excited about my selection to compete at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. This is the first time Para-Canoe has been included in the Paralympic Games competition schedule and it is great to be a part of history. I could not be more thrilled to have my dream of representing New Zealand become a reality in Rio.
This is the first time Para-Canoe will be raced at the Paralympics. It will be raced in Lagoa Stadium, on the Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon. As in the Rio Olympics, there are Sprint Canoe and Sprint Kayak racing categories. All races are 200m in distance.
There are three classes of athlete according to their functional potential. Leg and trunk movement is assessed while the athlete is on the water paddling and a score is given according to the athlete's physical ability. In layman's terms, the higher the points, the greater the athlete's physical ability. The classes are: KL1 (sum of three points); KL2 (four to seven points); and KL3 (eight or nine points). Scott Marlew, having one leg amputated from the hip, is classed as a KL3.
According to the Rio Olympic website, each event will begin with 5 heats. The winner of each heat advances directly to the finals, while the other competitors go on to the semi-finals. The three top-ranked competitors in the semi-finals compete in the finals.
As CRNZ boss Mark Weatherall so succinctly out it:
Rio has provided great success for our Olympic kayakers and the NZ Canoe Racing community will be cheering Scott on with the same enthusiasm as he takes to the water in Rio.
Wednesday, 14 September 2016, 9:00am to 11:00am Rio time Midnight Thursday to 2:00am NZT
Thursday, 15 September 2016, 9:00am to 11:50am Rio Time Midnight Friday to 2:50am NZT
TVNZ has the coverage rights to the Rio Paralympics. Their viewing schedule is here. However, since high performance NZ have only just announced NZ will have a representative in Canoe Sprint TVNZ have not yet updated the schedule to include Sprint Canoe. They do show various highlights packages: we will be starting the petition for live coverage if need be!
Check out this article about Scott's training schedule on the High Performance Sport NZ website
Scott Martlew has competed his Rio Paralympic Dream with an eighth place finish in the A Final.