Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett have edged closer to securing themselves a place on the Australian Olympic team after victory in the women’s K2 500 final at the Oceania Championships and second Grand Prix regatta in Adelaide today.
The first Olympic selection trial win for the pair puts them a step ahead of their competition with the second selection trial to take place at the National Sprint Championships in Perth next month.
The Sunshine Coast pair got off to a great start before settling into the race well, they were challenged in the closing 250 metres by Jo Brigden-Jones and Naomi Flood but held them off by 0.92 seconds to win in 1:47.82.
The win was a relief for the pair having gone within 0.03 seconds of victory at the first Grand Prix in December.
“We have always just been touched out every race so to finally put it all together and come up with a win is great,” Burnett said.
“To be one step ahead of everyone in the Olympic selection process is obviously the biggest bonus, but its lots of hard work now and in a few weeks we have to do it all again so hopefully we can replicate that.”
Bull believes that all of their training is finally paying off.
“We have been working really hard, everyone has been working really hard so it’s hard to get a sense of what everyone else is doing, but we have been doing what we need to work on in training and it’s starting to pay off, we are starting to put in some good races,” Bull said.
“So that is all we can hope for, we are doing our best at the moment and we are just going to keep doing that leading into Nationals.”
The under-23 World Championship bronze medallists know that they will have to keep working hard in their pursuit for a place on the Olympic team with the standard of the women’s competition lifted after the K4 500 failed to qualify for the Games at Worlds last year.
“Every race this weekend with the girls has been so close because as we have only got three spots for the Games everyone has been pushing hard and I think it has lifted the Australian team as whole, so whatever happens going forward, whichever girls go to the Olympics I know it will be a good showing,” Burnett said.
The pair will return to the Gold Coast at the conclusion of the event to commence their preparation for the National Sprint Championships.
“All the hard work has been done so it is just about fine-tuning, we will have a look at our race profile and see what we can improve,” Burnett said.
The National Sprint Championships will be held at Champion Lakes in Perth from 2 to 6 March.