Stewart dominates day 2 at Nationals

General / Mar 27, 2014

NSWIS star Murray Stewart produced a faultless performance at West Lakes on Thursday by completing the treble over 1000 metres adding the K1 and K2 titles to the K4 title he won on Wednesday.

The 27 year old began the day with victory ahead of fierce rival Ken Wallace in the highly anticipated K1 1000 final.

Stewart produced a scintillating time of 3:36.12 to finish 3.14 seconds ahead of Wallace.

The 2013 World Championship silver medallist edged fellow Queenslander Jacob Clear by 0.40 seconds to claim the silver.

“It was a good race with some tough competition. A lot of the U23s and younger guys have really stepped up”, Stewart said.

One of those athletes Stewart is referring to is 19 year old Gold Coast kayaker Jordan Wood who finished fourth.

Wood made his senior debut in 2013 and having already secured a place in the U23 team this year looks set for an exciting future.

Stewart then went on to win the K2 1000 final alongside Clear.

The experienced pair showed their class finishing more than two boat lengths ahead of second place getters Wallace and David Smith in a time of 3:14.09.

London K4 captain Tate Smith and Western Australian Daniel Bowker finished third.

Not usually known for their fast starts Clear was happy with how the race unfolded, “We established that lead from the start and got our own clear water and that worked really well through the race”, he said.

In the race of the day Western Australian Alana Nicholls edged Manly paddler Naomi Flood by 0.03 seconds to win the WK1 500 final.

In a topsy-turvy battle it was Nicholls that came out on top winning in 1:54.03, her fourth K1 500 National title.

Sydney Northern Beaches’ product Jo Brigden-Jones finished third.

“It was really tight, Floody had a really good start next to me and I could feel her the whole way”, Nicholls said.

Since the London Olympics Nicholls has suffered a few minor setbacks but is looking forward to proving herself on the international scene again.

“You are always comparing yourself to yourself and other athletes as well. All the other girls have definitely stepped up as well so I am just going to have to keep pushing and do better next time.”

Flood went one better in the WK2 500 final combining with fellow NSWIS paddler Brigden-Jones in a dominant performance.

The pair won in 1:45.90, 2.12 seconds ahead of U23 pair Alyce Burnett of the Sunshine Coast and Holdfast Bay kayaker Cat McArthur.

Burnett and McArthur also featured in the K1 500 final finishing fifth and seventh respectively.

Nicholls added a second medal combining with fellow Western Australian Jaime Roberts for third.

The newly formed K2 were pleased with their performance, particularly Brigden-Jones who has been suffering from a throat infection.

“I was kind of struggling to get out of bed this morning but I am glad I did and once the gun goes your body kicks into its natural mode and this is what we train for, you just have to switch your mind off and go for it”, Brigden-Jones said.

Brigden-Jones, Flood, Nicholls each recorded their second national wins when they combined with Bernadette Wallace to win the WK4 500 final in 1:37.80.

Experienced canoeist Marius Florian was too strong in the mens C1 1000 final winning in 4:28.90, 5.87 seconds of Brothers Canoe Club paddler Jake Donaghey.

Rain Metsoja of Varsity Lakes finished third, 3.45 seconds behind Donaghey.

Donaghey went one better in the C2 1000 final combining with a courageous Alex Haas to win in 4:01.91, more than 18 seconds ahead of Metsoja and Jason Nejman.

The pair were happy to win the national title especially after taking 2013 off.

“It is good to be back and to have a solid hit out like that, there are a few things to work but still a good solid hit out”, Donaghey said.

West Lakes’ quad Benjamin Keogh, Charles Ellis, Gabriel Tramaglino and Thomas Clarken won the C4 1000 final in 4:09.20.

The long distance events concluded the second day of racing with Metsoja and Bill Bain winning the C1 5000 and K1 5000 events respectively.

Racing continues tomorrow in Adelaide from 8:30am local time with the K1 200 heats.

Please follow the links below for more information including a wrap up of all the junior results.  Interviews and photos have been posted on the Team Australia Facebook page.