Murray Stewart has finished an incredible fourth in the men’s K1 1000 Olympic final in Rio, his best result in top international competition and coming off the back of a disrupted preparation.
But 30-year-old Stewart admitted after the race he was disappointed with the result, given he was leading with less than 200 metres to go.
“If I had executed my perfect race plan and come away with a fourth I probably would be a little less disappointed,” Stewart said.
“I just feel like I could have done something slightly different at the end there.
“I was in pretty good company, but on that podium were too guys that hadn’t beaten me before. It’s great for them, they paddled well, but what do you do. It would have been nice to be ahead of them.”
The two paddlers who finished ahead of him, and shocked the rest of the field, were gold medallist Marcus Walz, of Spain, and Russian bronze medallist,Roman Anoshkin.
Stewart paddled a controlled race from the start, allowing Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta to race to an early lead.
But by the half-way stage Stewart was taking control, moving into the lead by the 750 metre mark.
But he tightened in the last 250 metres.
Despite his disappointment, Stewart conceded he had done well to even get to the start line.
“I think given that I only had about six weeks of hard training, maybe a few before that, I can’t complain too much,” he said.
“I think when you get that close, and it’s been quite a crazy journey like that, you just want to keep going.”
Which leads to the next question – will he keep going for Tokyo? That issue has been complicated recently by some very exciting news on the home-front.
“I definitely don’t think I’ve padded my best races yet, I’m 30 now and got a baby on the way, so I’ll have to go and chat to my wife and re-evaluate things I guess,” he said.
“But you never know, I’m still feeling pretty good, and given the disrupted prep and the results this year, who knows – there might be more to come.”