• Susan Seipel, Para-canoeist, will compete for Australia at the Paralympics. (Australian Canoeing)Source: Australian Canoeing
Canoeing will appear at the Paralympics for the first time in 2016, with three women amongst the Aussies vying for gold.
By
Erin Byrnes

Source:
Zela
22 Jun 2016 - 8:30 AM  UPDATED 22 Jun 2016 - 8:30 AM

Australia is in the box seat to take home a huge haul of medals in para-canoe, when the sport makes its debut at the Rio Paralympics.

Three women and three men have qualified for the Games.

Australia has won 16 world championship medals since the discipline was first introduced to the World Championships in 2010, to be one of the top ranked nations in the world.

Kate McLoughlin, Chef de Mission of the 2016 Australian Paralympic Team, said Australia has proved itself to be a leader in the sport.

“All six are in strong form and training exceptionally hard, and no doubt their results will put the sport into the spotlight in Australia, for it to continue developing at an accelerated pace,” she said.

The women set to compete are:

Susan Seipel

Seipel, who has competed in international para-equestrian and previously held national age para-swimming records, will be making her Paralympic debut in Rio.

Seipel first picked up a paddle in 2012, and by 2014, was representing Australia at the World Championships.

At the 2015 world titles, the Queenslander took bronze in the 200m KL2 event, and followed it up with gold in 2016.

To top it all off? She’s recently taken up wheelchair tennis. Makes you tired just reading her resume.

Jocelyn Neumuller

The 20 year old remarkably only began competing for Australia this year, scoring eighth place at the World Championships.

After setting herself the goal of the 2020 Paralympics, Neumuller exceeded even her own expectations to make the Rio squad.

A former sailor with a swag of national medals to her name, Neumuller was talent scouted for canoe at an aquatic centre, but continues to volunteer for Sailability, a program for budding sailors with a disability.  

Amanda Reynolds

Reynolds is coming off a silver medal at this year’s World Championships, having won gold in 2015, and is keen to reclaim the number one mantle in Rio.

“It is an amazing achievement for canoe to become a sport in the Paralympics, and it will be a great opportunity to show Australia and the world what we can accomplish in the sport,” she said.

Reynolds began paddling in 2012 at the age of 41, after taking part in the Murray Marathon Challenge.

“Making it to Rio was a goal that I set three years ago for me to work towards. To reach that goal is a big box ticked, but I think everyone’s goal now is to make the centre spot on the dais,” she said. 

“I want to give it everything I’ve got, put on the Australian Paralympic Team uniform and make sure Australia is proud of what we can do when we get to Rio.”

 

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