Colin Sieders is on track to make a maiden Paralympic Games appearance this year after winning his third gold medal at the National Canoe Sprint Championships in Perth on Saturday.
The Penrith Valley paddler recorded a time of 2:36.43 to win the KL1 class in the men’s K1 500 multi-class final today to add to his victories in the K1 200 and K1 1000 finals earlier in the regatta.
Sieders time of 53.08 in the K1 200 final was particularly pleasing as it demonstrated that he on track to qualify the boat for the Paralympics at the World Championships in May later this year.
“Time-wise we are pretty much in the mix now,” Sieders said.
“The time I did this week would have put me fourth at last year’s worlds so providing everyone else has not made too much of a gap we should be right in the mix for getting a spot for Rio.”
Sieders is aiming to reach the final at the World Championships and improve from ninth to a place in the top four this year to secure a Rio berth.
“The top six nations have already been chosen from the last worlds so basically I need to beat four other countries that have not been selected,” Sieders said.
“So pretty much if I make the final again I will be right hopefully but if I am in the top four I know that I am going to go.”
Since the conclusion of last year, the 34-year-old has been working on the back half of his race.
“Endurance has been a big focus for me as the last 50 metres the wheels fall off and I tend to struggle a bit, but we have worked hard on endurance and getting the lactic levels up again so that has been the biggest improvement.”
Set to feature on the national team for a fourth consecutive year, Sieders has enjoyed watching the sport grow in recent times.
“It has been a big Nationals, with a pretty big field and the quality of the field is getting better all of the time which helps, the more people you get in it the more competitive it will be and that will only push everyone along,” he said.
Having now completed his National Canoe Sprint Championships campaign, he will switch his focus to preparing for the World Championships in Duisburg from 17 to 19 May.
“I want to keep on the water and do lots of practice as practice makes perfect, so plenty of kilometres and we will see how we go when we get there.”