ANOTHER WIN FOR BRIGDEN-JONES, BUT RIO STILL NO GUARANTEE

Canoe Sprint / Canoe Sprint Team / Featured / General / Mar 2, 2016

2012 Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones has done everything she needs to do to qualify for the K1 200 in Rio, but in the complicated world that is Olympic qualifying her selection is still not certain.

Australia has only qualified three women for Rio, and with the K2 500 crew taking two of the positions, it may come down to a battle between Brigden-Jones as the best K1 200 paddler, and whoever wins the K1 500 position.

Such is Brigden-Jones dominance of Australian sprint canoeing at the moment she is also the front runner for the K1 500 berth, having won the first Olympic qualifying race in Adelaide.

And she and partner Naomi Flood are also hoping to qualify as the K2 500 crew, although they were beaten by Queensland’s Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bull in the first Olympic trial.

“The job’s not done yet, I still have to keep focused,” Brigden-Jones said.

“Because we only have three spots for the women, there’s a battle on. I guess I’m three quarters of the way there, and if I win the 500 I’ll secure my spot.

“You want to know as soon as possible, but I just have to be patient for another couple of days to see how it will pan out.”

It was heartbreak for fellow 2012 Olympian, Alana Nicholls, who once again was edged out by Brigden-Jones in a blanket finish.

The final margin of 0.09 seconds was similar to the margin in Adelaide, which means the West Australian paddler has to now wait to find out if she can still make Rio.

If Brigden-Jones and Flood can win the K2 500, it will throw open several possibilities as to who the third team member might be.

And if Brigden-Jones can win the 500 final on Friday morning she’ll then be able to plan for Rio.

“I feel really good for the 500, I haven’t trained specifically for the 200 this year,” she said.

“It’s nice to show that I am going quick, and I’m looking forward to putting that into my 500. Its really exciting and rewarding to see myself grow over the past four years.”

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