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Ines Felipe paddling towards Tokyo Paralympic dreams

Ines Felipe paddling towards Tokyo Paralympic dreams 12.12.2020

Spanish parakayaker Ines Felipe is working hard and prepares for the 2021 with one goal in her mind. She wants to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

Ines Felipe is preparing between Badajoz and Seville for the Paralympic qualification race that is scheduled for next May in Szeged, Hungary. There the last tickets for Tokyo will be distributed and the 34-year-old paddler wishes to be among the lucky winners.
Ines discovered this sport by coincidence four years ago, about the time when Paracanoeing made its Paralympic debut in Rio de Janeiro. "It was by coincidence, I was walking with a friend on the Puente Real de Badajoz, I looked towards the river and I saw a group of athletes paddling and it caught my attention. She was the one who encouraged me to try it and insisted so much that I stopped by the city club to ask if I could practice it. They welcomed me with open arms. My intention was to do an introductory course, enjoy a few laps and that's it. And look where I finished, I even have serious options to go to the Games," said Ines.
Spanish kayaker was born with multiple arthrogryposis that affects the mobility of the lower extremities, but this did not stop her in her quest to become one of the best in the world. "At first, I had many doubts, I did not know if I could paddle or if I would capsize since I cannot move my legs. But it was coming and they made everything very easy for me, they adapted anything for me so that I could do like the others. I was hooked because I enjoy sports in nature and I see that defending myself with the paddle I am just like the rest. To get around I go in a wheelchair, but in the water my disability disappears, with the canoe I feel completely free."

She started with longer distances, but then switched to 200 metres which is Paralympic event, "These are two completely different events, I love long distance and I do not rule out practicing it again in the future. The sprint is a more explosive test where you perform it all in less than a minute, it's fun, but it's also very tough."
She started in KL3, but is now classified in KL2 category, "In my first season, they classified me badly and I competed against rivals who have more autonomy in the KL3 category, where there are usually amputations of one leg and, therefore, they can push with the other foot. Since last year I have been in KL2, the conditions have been levelled with respect to the others and the results are showing. The first time I competed, I finished the 200 meters in one minute 11 seconds and now I am in 58 seconds, I have made a lot of progress. I have to go down even more, it is very difficult to scratch a thousandth on the clock, but you have to push because those who achieve medals are far away, in 50 seconds, while the group of girls who go from third place down usually go around 53 or 54 seconds. And this is where I want to be next year."



Source: https://www.dxtadaptado.com/blog/2020/12/09/ines-felipe-palea-hacia-el-sueno-de-tokio/


Photo: Facebook Ines Felipe