The third day of this year’s National Sprint Championships belonged to the Paracanoe athletes with Western Australian Brock Ingram and newcomer Curtis McGrath the standout performers.
In what is a truly inspiring story McGrath lost both his legs while serving his country in Afghanistan in 2012.
Today the Kiwi born paddler won his first National paracanoe title with victory in the V1 200 final in time of 52.64, 7.14 seconds ahead of Kawana Lakes’ paddler Trevor Hutson.
The mens K1 200 multiclass final produced some excellent racing with Ingram the first athlete across the finish line in 45.29 to take out the LTA class.
Sunshine Coast paddler David Parry edged local favourite Sam Germein of West Lakes by 0.72 seconds to win the TA class in 53.19.
Penrith Valley paddler Colin Sieders won the arms only class in 1:02.65.
LTA athlete Amanda Reynolds of Sherbrooke impressed in the women’s K1 200 multiclass final winning in a time of 59.12.
Brisbane canoeist Susanne Seipel finished second in a time of 1:04.44 to win the TA class, just 0.02 seconds ahead of 15 year old Erin Baker of Varsity Lakes.
Kathy Mallory finished fourth in 1:21.65 to win the arms only class.
Melissa Sullivan was the first women to cross the finish in the V1 200 final winning the LTA class in 1:06.65.
Reigning Australian Paracanoeist of the Year Kara Kennedy raced up a class to take out the TA battle ahead of Seipel in 1:08.38.
The scene is set for an exciting day of 200 metre racing on Saturday after all the big stars vying for senior selection advanced to the final showdown.
Friday’s racing began with the open K1M 200 heats with Western Australian trio Stephen Bird, Brodie Holmes and Jesse Phillips, NSWIS kayaker Lachlan Tame and Currumbin Creek star Ken Wallace each recording heat wins.
Bird, Phillips and Tame continued their winning streak by triumphing in their respective semifinals to set up a mouth-watering final where Bird will be out to defend his National title.
Joining them in the final will be fellow semifinal winner and U23 champion Callum Dunn of West Lakes, Holmes, Wallace, Patterson Lakes’ paddler Kieren Carson, and Encounter duo Ben Gallard and Tim Symonds.
The mens K2 200 event followed in the afternoon with Western Australian Olympic pair Bird and Phillips on track to win a fifth K2 200 National title after victory in the heat secured them an A final berth.
Joining them will be fellow heat winners Wallace and Tame, and Bayswater duo Holmes and Todd Brewer.
In one of the few finals raced on Friday, Brothers Canoe Club paddler Alex Haas took out the men’s C1 200 event.
Haas edged fellow clubman Jake Donaghey by 0.58 seconds to win in a time of 45.08.
C1 1000 winner Marius Florian finished third in 46.30.
The C4 200 final was won by a West Lakes composite crew containing Jason Nejman, Hugh Stewart, Roger French and Rain Metsoja in a time of 48.48.
NSWIS star Jo Brigden-Jones, K1 500 champion Alana Nicholls and fellow Western Australian Jaime Roberts will be the women to beat in the WK1 200 final tomorrow after each recorded heat wins today.
Each of the three heat winners progressed straight to the final, bypassing the semifinals which followed in the afternoon.
Joining the trio in the final will be Naomi Flood (NSW), Alyce Burnett (QLD), Jaymee-Lee Martin (WA), Bernadette Wallace (QLD), Hannah Davis (SA) and Cat McArthur (SA) after each recorded top three finishes in their respective semifinals.
It was a quiet day on the finals front for the junior athletes.
West Lakes’ duo Jace Bayliss and Benjamin Keogh continued their domination of the U18 canoeing events finishing one-two in the C1 200 final.
Bayliss won in 49.77, 2.13 seconds ahead of Keogh. Brothers Cane Club paddler Sam Sheppard finished third 1.31 seconds further back.
Sydney Northern Beaches’ quad Simon McTavish, Thomas Hammond, Isaac Lawrence and Josh Yeates combined to win the U18 K4 200 final in 36.64.
In the U16 events Patterson Lakes’ pair Luke Buckthorpe and Chris Martin, and Bayswater duo Luke Morton and Anthony Carbone won the K4 200 final in 37.55.
The womens version was won by Hannah Yeates, Brittany Munro, Monique Carbone and Alex Aves in 44.99.
Bayswater junior Yasemin Ray won the U14 K1 200 final in 51.48, 1.38 seconds ahead of fellow Western Australian Shania Smee.
Claudia Watmough of Varsity Lakes rounded out the podium in third.
Racing continues on Saturday for day four of the National Sprint Championships in Adelaide.
The action will commence from 8:30am local time.
Please follow the links below for more information.