Athletes prep for worldwide whitewater competition - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Athletes prep for worldwide whitewater competition

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

It's a busy time on the Wausau whitewater course.

Athletes are getting ready for a worldwide competition next week—the Junior Canoe Slalom World Championships.

Rok Markocic, 16, has traveled a long way from home to participate. He's from Slovenia, and his country is one of dozens that will be represented at the competition.

"I hope there's going to be a lot of people to watch," said Markocic.

So does Karla Westcott, one of the organizers of the competition.

"Wausau's got such a wonderful reputation within the paddling world as an excellent place to hold races," said Westcott.

Athletes will compete on a 312-meter course in downtown Wausau. The competition begins Wednesday July 11 and runs through Sunday, July 15. Until then, athletes are getting ready.

"This is my first training, so I'm just getting used to the water," said Markocic.

And while the time ahead of the competition is good for athletes to practice, it's also a good excuse to cool off from the heat wave in central Wisconsin.

"I expected that it is going to be cold," said Markocic. "But it's not cold."

No, it's not. But it is busy as Wausau gets ready to host some of the best paddlers in the world.

For more information on the competition, visit http://www.2012wausau.com/.

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