More than 280 of the nation’s best canoe sprint and paracanoe paddlers will contest the National canoe sprint Championships at Champion Lakes in Perth from the 2 to 6 March.
The canoe sprint National Championships will be the second of two nomination events for Australia’s Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls following the Oceania Championships in Adelaide last month.
The National canoe sprint Championships will finalise selection for our national teams and ultimately determine the athletes to be nominated to the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic teams.
Racing will commence on Wednesday morning from 8 am local time.
The men’s K4 1000, women’s K1 200 and paracanoe K1 200 finals will be the big races to feature on the opening day of racing.
The K4 1000 final looks set to be an exciting affair with K2 1000 Worlds silver medallists Kenny Wallace and Lachlan Tame joining London Olympic champions Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear in a new look K4 this season.
The quad combined to record an impressive victory at the Oceania Championships and will be looking for a repeat performance in Perth to make it two-from-two nomination trial wins.
They will face some tough competition from Riley Fitzsimmons, Joel McKitterick, Daniel Bowker and Jordan Wood who finished 2.45 seconds behind them in Adelaide.
The final is scheduled for 10:20 am local time.
The women’s K1 200 event will feature later in the day with Oceania Championship winner Jo Brigden-Jones set to resume her rivalry with Western Australian Alana Nicholls and Sunshine Coast paddler Alyce Burnett after just 0.11 seconds separated the trio last start.
The final is scheduled to commence at 12:55pm with the heats and semi-finals to take place on Wednesday morning.
Brigden-Jones will also team up with fellow Manly paddler Naomi Flood in the K2 500 heats from 3:05 pm local time.
The NSWIS pair need to win in Perth to stay in the hunt for Olympic nomination after Alyssa Bull and Burnett won the K2 500 final in Adelaide.
Late change – K1 200 finals have now been moved with the V1 200 events to be raced today for classification purposes.
Curtis McGrath (KL2) (pictured), Susan Seipel (KL2) and Amanda Reynolds (KL3) moved a step closer to Paralympic nomination in Adelaide last month after taking out their respective nomination trials at the Oceania Championships and will be favourites to succeed once again.
The trio each earned Australia a Paralympic quota at the ICF World Championships in Milan last year. Australia is eligible to qualify the men’s KL1 and KL3 and women’s KL1 Paralympic quotas at the 2016 World Championships in Duisburg Germany, 19-21 May, 2016.
Other nomination trial one winners at the Oceania Championships were Colin Sieders (KL1), Dylan Littlehales (KL3) and Georgina Inglis (KL1 – provisional – pending classification review).
OTHERS IN ACTION
Kenny Wallace and Lachlan Tame will also feature in the men’s K2 1000 heats from 2:00 pm.
Wallace and Tame will be aiming to win their heat to secure a place in Thursday’s final, where they are likely to resume their battle with K4 teammates Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear.
Under-23 world champions Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood will be another crew in contention for the title.
Local Rio hopeful, Steve Bird produced a dominant performance at the Oceania Championships to win the K1 200 final by a boat length and will be looking for a repeat performance on his home course.
He leads a strong Western Australian contingent which includes his K2 partner Jesse Phillips, Brodie Holmes and Todd Brewer who will contest the K1 200 heats on Wednesday morning.
Others to watch include Oceania Championships under-23 champion Callum Dunn and Sydney Northern Beaches product Ben McLean.
The 200 metre semi-finals will follow from midday.
NOMINATION TRIAL 1 WINNERS
K4 Men 1000 – Kenny Wallace, Lachlan Tame, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear
K2 Men 1000 – Kenny Wallace and Lachlan Tame
K1 Men 1000 – Murray Stewart
K2 Men 200 – Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips
K1 Men 200 – Steve Bird
K2 Women 500 – Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett
K1 Women 500 – Jo Brigden-Jones
K1 Women 200 – Jo Brigden-Jones
C1 Men 1000 – Charles Ellis
C2 Men 1000 – Jason Nejman and Marius Florian
C1 Men 200 – Sebastian Marczak
Please note: Trial three races will be organised on 5/6 March, only if there is a different winner in an event in trial two to trial one.