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Ed Sheeran

High hopes for kaihoe in Tahiti

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Aotearoa is sending 560 paddlers to the 18th international Va'a World Championships Tahiti starting next week, making up more than a quarter of the expected 2100 competitors.

Amiria Mita from Waka Ama New Zealand says they hope to improve on their medal tally from Australia two years ago, when they topped the table.

Thirty one countries will be represented at the 11-day regatta, with Aotearoa, Hawaii and hosts French Polynesia expected to put up the toughest competition.

This country is strong at masters level but there are good medal prospects throughout the ranks.

"So we've got a lot of strong V1 paddlers, that's individual paddlers, such as Tupuria King, he's a reigning New Zealand champion, Akayshia Williams and her sister Rangi-Riana Willams, both New Zealand national champions, and we've got upcoming juniors such as Darius Apanui Nepe and Inamaru Tere who are looking good to perform well over in Tahiti," Ms Mita says.

She says for every team there are 20 whanau members willing to put on a hangi or do some other fundraising to get them to Tahiti.

AMIRIA MITA FULL INTERVIEW

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