Fresh off the back of his K1 1000 silver medal at World Cup 3 in Hungary, Murray Stewart produced the fourth quickest semifinal time of all qualifiers to secure a place in the K1 1000 A final on Saturday.
It was not all smooth sailing though for the Manly paddler who was put through a nervous 20 minute wait before finding out that he had secured a place in the final.
Normally renowned for his quick starts Stewart was not happy with his first 100 metres and spent extra energy catching up to the leaders in the middle section of the race to finish third in his semifinal.
His time of 3:28.395 was less than a second behind the fastest semifinal time recorded which puts him in the frame to push for a medal in the final.
“It is not the way I would have liked to get into the final but at the same time there is nothing in it and I am still quietly confident heading into the final,” Stewart said.
The final will pit Stewart against ICF World Cup star Max Hoff of Germany, Danish kayaker Rene Holten Poulsen and Canadian Adam van Koeverden to name just a few.
Stewart will line up alongside fellow Olympic gold medalists Tate Smith, David Smith and Jacob Clear in the K4 1000 event on Friday.
“I am pretty confident we are going to put together a good heat and if we need to a good semi out there tomorrow and we just need to do our job and make that final on Sunday,” Stewart said.
The performance of the day though belonged to Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame who qualified for the men’s K2 1000 A final.
Tame’s powerful start combined with Wallace’s back end speed proved the perfect tonic with the Australian pair winning their heat and semifinal to secure a place in Saturday’s final.
After being aided by a tail wind in the morning’s heat the weather picked up in the afternoon with a strong head wind wreaking havoc on the competitors.
“It was very challenging for us as a new crew together and to get a cross wind blow up like that in the last ten minutes was pretty scary actually,” said Tame.
Despite the tough conditions the newly formed Australian crew won their semifinal in 3:15.897, 0.716 seconds ahead of Slovakian pair Erik Vlcek and Juraj Tarr.
That Australian pair could not have dreamt for a better start.
“No not at all, to get a cracking time like we did this morning and knock off the guys that got second last year and then to race two crews now that got medals at Europeans is a good start but everyone turns up to the final now so we need to pull something better out,” Tame said.
Another new boat combination, the women’s K4 500 crew will race the B final on Saturday after finishing sixth in their semifinal.
The quad containing Cat McArthur, Alyce Burnett, Jaime Roberts and Bernadette Wallace set a new PB of 1:34.846 to trail Russia by four seconds.
Fresh off the back of her success at the U23 World Championships Burnett said she was happy with the performance.
“We had a really good start, probably one of our best. We tried our hardest but we just got pipped at the end, we probably needed a bit more strength through the middle bit but we are happy,” Burnett said.
The quad have only been training together since the start of World Cup 3 and for McArthur and Roberts this is their first World Championships.
They will out to improve on their time in Saturday’s B final.
Unfortunately the paracanoe finals were postponed for tomorrow after Moscow was hit by bad weather in the afternoon.
Friday schedule (AEST):
3:30pm – K1 W 500 Heat 5 (Alana Nicholls)
3:50pm – K1 M 500 Heat 3 (Ken Wallace)
4:35pm – K2 M 500 Heat 3 (Wood/Booth)
4:50pm – K2 W 500 Heat 3 (Brigden-Jones/Flood)
5:47pm – K4 M 1000 Heat 3 (Smith/Smith/Stewart/Clear)
6:00pm – K1 (A) M 200 Final (Colin Sieders)
7:10pm – K1 (LTA) W 200 Final (Amanda Reynolds)
Semifinals for mornings heats to commence at 8:15pm AEST.
10:20pm – V1 (TA) W 200 Final (Kara Kennedy)
10:25pm – K1 (LTA) M 200 B Final (Brock Ingram)
10:38pm – K1 M 200 Heat 3 (Lachlan Tame)
11:28pm – K1 W 200 Heat 5 (Jo Brigden-Jones)
11:44pm – K2 M 200 Heat 1 (Bird/Phillips)