It’s not often that the second time you ever race together is in an Olympics, but for debutants Daniel Bowker and Jordan Wood that’s where they found themselves on Wednesday in Rio.
Both Bowker and Wood prefer the longer distances, but with the depth in the Australian 1000 metre squad at the moment, it meant an opportunity existed for two paddlers to contest the K2 200.
Bowker and Wood finished sixth in their semi-final and will race the B final on Thursday, but don’t expect either to make a career of shorter racing.
“Absolutely not,” Bowker said.
“We are both part of the 1000 metre squad first and foremost. That squad has shown a lot of depth over the past few years, so just to make that squad, I think we are both pretty chuffed to be part of it.”
Wood will be part of Friday’s K4 1000 boat defending the Gold medal Australia won in London, and said it was good to have a hit-out with Bowker.
“Obviously it’s the first Olympics for both of us, and to put down a run we are both happy with is a big bonus,” he said.
“I think for how long we’ve been in the boat, we did well.”
Bowker moved from Perth to the Gold Coast to increase his chances of Olympic selection, and said he was proud of what he achieved.
“It’s been a fantastic journey,” he said.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself since leaving Perth and relocating to the Gold Coast for this exact reason. It’s one of my prouder achievements for me to have achieved this goal.
“I can’t say I was nervous. I didn’t have any expectations or any pressure, we have only raced once together over this distance so I didn’t know what to expect.
“We just wanted to get out there and execute what we had been doing in training, and I think we did that.”
The B final will be run on Thursday morning, Rio time.