By Neto Baptiste
Antigua and Barbuda’s lone international kiteboarder Tiger Tyson said his return to competition “felt good” following a six-week layoff due to injury.
Tyson, on Sunday, battled to a 12th place finish in the in the first week of the Kite Foil World Series being held in the Canary Islands.
Speaking with Observer media as he prepared for the next leg of the series slated for Gran Canaria, Tyson said being able to remain competitive after injury was his main concern.
“I had some pretty good races with the top guys so I was happy with that and I was matching up against some of the best guys in the world and also the best guys in North America who, in a way, is my main competition in the qualifiers for the Olympic Games, so I was happy to see that,” he said.
The athlete, whose goal is to qualify for the 2024 Olympic Games, said that although the Kite Foil World Series does not contribute to his bid, it is providing him with high quality competition as he re-launches his preparations.
“Of course, it goes towards my rankings but the qualifiers for the Olympics don’t take place until 2023 so this is all a lead up to the Olympic Games where we are all matching against each other trying to get the highest ranking possible, so we are all thinking about it the whole time,” Tyson said.
Tyson was forced to pull out of the Formula Kite World Championships following a collision with another athlete during a test run of the course in October. The incident occurred just one day before the scheduled start of the World Championships.
The athlete said he is just happy to be competing pain free.
“I was happy to see that I was able to race and push again with feeling any hindrance from my shoulder especially since I haven’t been able to train at all for the last six weeks. Luckily it didn’t show that much but of course it didn’t help, but it wasn’t so detrimental to my performance, which is good,” he said.
Tyson said that following the ongoing championships his attention will turn to the Caribbean Foiling Championships slated to start on December 10 in St Martin.