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Maley has nothing to lose in slalom semi
Jim Morton
06:33 AEST Mon Jul 30 2012

After missing Olympic selection three times, whitewater paddler Kynan Maley is aiming to make the most of his Games debut in Tuesday's cut-throat semi-finals appearance.

Maley, 30, snuck into the C1 final in the canoe slalom heats on Sunday but it won't deter him in attempting a surprise assault on the medals.

The West Australian needs to produce a top-eight score in the semi-final to make the final, where unpredictable results have been traditional in Olympic slalom competition.

Maley first aimed at making the 2000 Sydney Games, but has largely spent his career playing second fiddle to Robin Bell who won bronze in Beijing.

"There's so much emotion wrapped up," Maley said. "For me, it's mostly the opportunity to see what I can do.

"I'm trying to make sure I make the most of my opportunity."

Slovakian Olympic champion Michal Martikan is the man to beat after producing the best score of the heats (90.56).

Frenchman Tony Estanguet is also primed to atone for his Beijing disappointment when he crashed out in the final as favourite.

Maley, who is also competing in the C2 with crewmate Robin Jeffery, produced heat runs of 96.07 and 96.68, both times incurring time penalties.

He expects to produce better in the semi-final and needs to.

"The course was tricky and a lot of people made mistakes," Maley said. "It's a real challenge because there's no space to re-group and get back on line if you make a mistake.

"The second run left a lot to be desired. Mentally I sustained the effort, but I made a few silly mistakes."

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