ALAPPUZHA:After Kerala’s impressive show in rowing, that fetched four gold medals in a total of nine, the hosts’ canoeing and kayaking teams venture into the Vembanad lake on Monday with paddles in hand and high hopes in their hearts. The teams completed their final round of practice at the Punnamada lake near the Sports Authority of India centre here on Sunday.
Chief coach U R Abhayan is far more confident of the women’s team’s chances than the men. He expects them to better the number of golds won in the 2011 Jharkhand games, chiefly in the 1000m, 500m and 200m categories.
“The team comprising Minimol, Shipa S, Anisha B and Nithya Kuriakose has been performing well in training. The other members Athira Shylappan, Betty Joseph and Subi Alexander to are a confident lot,” Abhayan said, of the canoeing and kayaking teams that include 18 men and women each.
The coach is not too sure if the men’s team can clinch as many gold medals as the women, given the strong presence of Services.
The team includes four members (Mohith G, Shimal Singh, Manglem Singh and Sunil Kumar) from other states who work at the Naval Base in Kochi.
“The teams have been practising for the past three months in the Punnamada lake,” Abhayan added.
In 2011, Kerala’s canoeing and kayaking women’s team had bagged five gold medals, apart from four silvers while the men’s team had won three silvers.
The canoeing and kayaking competitions as part of National Games will begin at Vembanad Lake at Aryad near here on Monday.