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17th of January 2018

Sport



Olympic champion Tom Ashley to head Canoe Racing NZ

Tom Ashley was in charge of China's windsurfing programme the past four years.

Tom Ashley was in charge of China's windsurfing programme the past four years.

Olympic champion windsurfer Tom Ashley has been named as the new chief executive of Canoe Racing New Zealand.

Ashley, who won gold in Beijing in 2008, takes over from Mark Weatherall after four years at the helm. 

Since winning gold, Ashley has spent the past nine years building his professional portfolio, which included working as an Olympic programme consultant and specialist planning advisor for Yachting New Zealand.

Kiwi windsurfer Tom Ashley, pictured celebrating his gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. PASCAL LAUENER

Kiwi windsurfer Tom Ashley, pictured celebrating his gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

He also completed his law degree and was in charge of China's Olympic windsurfing programme for the past four years. 

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"CRNZ's programme has been gaining momentum over the last few years under Mark's leadership and there is currently a group of really strong athletes and coaches," Ashley said.

"I'll face two exciting challenges in this role - the first will be to continue to support the current team and make sure they get what they need to achieve their goals in Tokyo 2020, and the second will be to find ways to build on the current momentum to inspire a new generation of paddlers into the sport."

New Zealand won four medals at the world championships last year, including two golds, while Lisa carrington won two medals at the Rio Olympics. 

Ashley starts his new job in February, and one of his first jobs will be to oversee CRNZ's move to their new high performance base at Lake Karapiro.

Work on the base has recently been completed and canoeing will move in alongside Rowing New Zealand at the hub. 

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