Sydney Northern Beaches paddler Ben McLean secured himself a place on the Australian under-23 canoe sprint team at the National Championships in Perth last weekend.
The 21-year-old combined with South Australian Callum Dunn to win bronze in the open men’s K2 200 A final.
The third placing saw them take out the under-23 title and secure themselves a place on the national team once again this year.
“It turned out pretty good, it was a bit difficult with the wind and we didn’t get out as well as we could, but, all in all, it was a pretty good race and we will continue to push it with those top guys so it’s going alright I reckon,” McLean said.
After missing out on a place in the A final by less than 0.1 seconds at the ICF under-23 World Championships last year, McLean is determined to set the record straight this year and prove that the pair belong on the world stage.
“We definitely want to try and push it into that A final,” McLean said.
“We thought we could have done it last year but we unfortunately just missed out in a semi-final, but we definitely think we will get in the top half of that A final this year.”
The greatest challenge the pair face at the moment is living in different states with McLean based in Sydney and Dunn in Adelaide.
Prior to last year’s World Championships, the pair spent a fortnight training in Perth before a month-long training block in Europe and McLean is hoping for something similar again this year.
“We will look to get some decent time together training in the K2 beforehand which we found helped us a lot,” McLean said.
To achieve their A final goal McLean admitted that there is plenty of hard work to do and that he and Dunn needed to ‘improve on everything’.
“In the 200 it is not just one thing you have to have to accumulate every area of your race to get those margins better but definitely, K2 training together seems to have been the best thing for us so far so we will do that and just try and work on little bits and pieces in K1 in our states before we jump in the K2 together,” McLean said.
The ICF junior and under-23 World Championships will be held in Minsk, Belarus from the 28 to 31 July.