TODAY |

Game of inches: The tiny addition helping Kiwi canoe sprinters find a golden edge

Kiwi athletes are always chasing that elusive one per cent and for our Tokyo-bound canoe sprint team, that journey has led them to a small, black box.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The revolutionary tech has had a big impact on training sessions despite its size. Source: 1 NEWS

The box, known as a Rover, is fitted with tiny microchips that track their every move, which is both freaky and revolutionary for training sessions, coach Nathan Luce said.

"We call it Big Brother," Luce said.

"We get to see the heart rate, the speed, we can even see how much force they’re pulling."

Rovers have been used in watersports for a while but experts at High Performance Sport New Zealand have developed tailored software just for the kayakers.

"There's different chips inside that allow us to understand the dynamic movements of the boat," performance analyst Paul McAlpine said.

During training if a small adjustment is made, people like technical director Gordon Walker can see straight away if it's created gains.

"You'd be watching the data to see whether it changes the speed or whether it changes the distance per stroke or whether we're able to get their heart rate a little lower for the same speed," Walker said.

Tokyo-bound Teneale Hatton said the feedback is just as important for them too.

"To be able to get that information and be able to apply that to your training, your technique… I think it's an absolute game changer," Hatton said.

It may not look like much, but they're hoping it holds the secret to medal winning performances in a month.