Australian K2 500 paddlers Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bull have issued a warning to their international rivals – watch out for us in four years time.
Bull and Burnett finished eighth in their first ever Olympic final, and while they were a little disappointed with the result, also knew that their best is still to come.
“We ticked our goal, we made our final, and even though it didn’t unfold the way we wanted it to in the final, we’re wrapped,” Burnett said.
“Being the only non-Euros out there, I think that’s a big achievement for two young girls and for the Commonwealth. A warning for them in the next few years – watch out!”
A wayward leaf might not seem enough to throw out the race plans of a canoe sprint team, but when one landed on the nose of their boat at the start of their race it was an unwanted distraction.
“We were feeling really good in the warm-up, and from yesterday we were super-stoked,” Burnett said.
“But just after the first few strokes at the start, we picked up a bit of resistance, a few leaves.
“I mean in kayaking that’s what happens, we’re an outdoor sport, so you can’t control the uncontrollable, and that just put a bit of resistance on us from the second stroke.”
“I thought it was going to shake off, but it wouldn’t budge,” Bull added.
When Bull, 20, and Burnett, 24, began paddling together their goal was to make the Tokyo Olympics. Now they have achieved their goal four years early, Bull said it is time to start planning how to improve in Japan.
“Our starts are getting a lot better, we just need to work on our strength and endurance,” she said.
“That will come with time, we’ve got to knuckle down over the next four-year cycle, but we have to try and get in the top end of the A finals at World Championships and World Cups.
“So yes, we have some work to do, but we’re not afraid to work hard, so bring it on.”