Kingston athlete riding the water skiing wave

ROB BRODIE -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:53 AM ET

Andrea Andrecyk now knows she belongs with the world's best.

The Kingston athlete made a sensational debut last weekend at the world water skiing championships for athletes with a disability. The gold went to Britain's Adelaine Sahey.

"I was absolutely scared to be here alongside these elite athletes," admitted Andrecyk, 28. "But I discovered they were just as scared as me. I was able to put together the best runs of my life."

A virus in her spinal cord cost Andrecyk, a paraplegic, the ability to walk at age 12. She began water skiing two years ago.

"It's been phenomenal," she said. "I think the more people with a disability learn about it, the more they're going to love it."

Chris Bourne of Ottawa finished ninth in men's tricks and seventh in slalom.

DOWN UNDER WITH THE BEST: The venue for the world whitewater canoe/kayak championships in Australia should seem rather familiar to two local paddlers. The Penrith course is the same one used five years ago for the Sydney Games, where Ottawa's James Cartwright made his Olympic debut. Cartwright, a two-time Olympian, is aiming for a top 10 finish in canoe singles at the Sept. 29-Oct. 3 event. Killaloe's Sarah Boudens, entered in women's kayak singles, trained at Penrith during the winter of 2002. Jennifer Gratto of Gatineau will also compete in women's kayak.

AROUND THE AMATEUR SCENE: Four fighters from the Ottawa Beaver Boxing Club scored wins during a card last weekend at the Cabbagetown Boxing Club in Toronto. Fady Mahfouz (81 kg) won his debut bout, stopping Toronto's Jeremy Hayes in the second round. Hosni Below (75 kg) and Matt Whitaker (70 kg) posted victories by unanimous decision. On the women's side, Isabelle Perreault (63.5 kg) scored a split decision victory over Stephanie Swanye of Toronto.

rob.brodie@ott.sunpub.com


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