Di recently returned from competing in Hungary at the Dragon Boat World Championships. We proudly supported her with her training and we are excited to share her great results with everyone. Thank you Di for passing on the report from your competition below...
I have returned home after competing in the International Dragon Boat Federation World Championships, hosted in Szeged, Hungary from 24 - 28th July 2013. What an experience !!
Initially I attended a 3 day training camp in Gyor, Hungary. The weather was hot with the temperatures reaching 38 - 40 degrees most days and not much cooler at night. We had a chance to re-connect with members of the team that came from all areas of Australia and to meet the members of all age groups. The Australian Auroras consisted of more than 320 people - 220 + competitors and 120 + supporters. An amazing sight when we all gathered in one place. We then travelled to Szeged for the competition.
The World Championship event kicked off with the opening ceremony for all of the 30 countries that were competing. This can only be imagined when you take into account that Australia alone had a representation of over 320 people. A sea of yellow caps flooded the streets of Szeged and into the town square for the march to the banks of the Tisza River. The competition would commence here the next morning with the 2 km races and the remainder of the events were held at the Maty Olympic Centre.
The event ran like clock work - 5 days, 300 races and 30 countries competing! The atmosphere was amazing, meeting people from all over the world, the course world class and the pressure was at a level I had not experienced before, both mentally and physically. Trusting in the coaches, your team mates and focusing on the fact that I had done the hours of training, is what it came down to in the end.
I was fortunate enough to represent Australia in the Senior A womens team. This category was contested by 8 countries - Canada, United States, Germany, Australia, Hungary, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Poland. Canada were the team to beat from the start, United States proved to be strong also and the home town advantage for Hungary definitely showed in the crowd of supporters. We performed well and winning our heats allowed us to go straight to the finals in some of the categories. The finals were fought for by all teams and left nothing behind that is for sure.
We entered 4 events and were lucky enough to bring home 3 medals. We won Silver in the 1 km, Silver in the 500m and Bronze in the 200m events. We finished 4th in the 2km event also. The Australia Auroras performed well in all age categories and Australia came 3rd overall, behind Canada and China, with 4 Gold, 8 Silver and 5 Bronze medals - what an achievement and what an honour to be a part of this!
Thanks to all who have supported me through the preparation and during the competition - I definitely could not have done this alone.
Will there be another?? It is too early to say as the next campaign is in 2 years time and will be hosted in Canada. This next year will see me to continue to train and paddle with my local club - Manly Dragon Boat Club but will also see me spending some family time as well. Who knows what will happen in 2 years time?