World singles silver medalist eyes up team gold

By Rahia Timutimu

Rotorua Lake is Makayla Timoti's second home.

“The environment is tense a little but it's good because it's giving everyone a little push to train harder in preparation,” says Timoti, “We're doing what we can to finalise little details to give us our best results.”

Last year at the IVF Va'a World Sprints she placed second in the world in the individual W1 J-19 final.

“Last year going away to Worlds was a big and good thing coming away with second,” says Timoti, “This year I just want to better myself and in our team events, I just want to try at Nationals this year to aim for that top position as a team.”

Achieving this goal of hers as a singles paddler was her main focus, and now she's joined a team with Hei Matau called Puutake Ake, to go even further.

“Since I haven't done 6's for about a year and a half now, it’s been a bit odd to work out my training schedule,” laughs Timoti, “not just grabbing a single waka all the time, so I kind of have to prioritize things.”

Her team came together for their regional competition and have been training for just over four weeks now, not long considering teams are together longer in preparation towards the National sprints.

“It’s not been too bad we’ve all come from a decent background in paddling,” explains Timoti, “so I think everyone in our team went to worlds last year.  It’s good that we all have different inputs, we’re all new to each other as a team, but it’s good because it’s growing our learning as well.”

Timoti will also represent her region Te Puku o Te Ika, competing in the Premier Women's regional W12 team.