Olympic hopefuls ready to race in Szeged

Canoe Sprint / Featured / Sep 21, 2016

From 23rd to 25th September, 27 aspiring young Australian athletes will line up against the world’s best canoe sprint paddlers aged between 15 and 17 for the Olympic Hopes Regatta, in Szeged, Hungary.

This annual event will provide Australia’s most talented young paddlers with the perfect pathway to gain international racing experience, seeing them progress into future junior, under-23 and senior national team representatives.

The Regatta is open to all national federations, promising tough competition between future sprint champions from around the world, across 252 events held over the 3 days of competition.

Australia will be represented by 15 men’s kayak athletes and 12 women’s kayak athletes across all 3 distances (1000m, 500m & 200m).

17-year-old Sydney Northern Beaches kayaker Angus Schmidt will look to capitalise on his experience as he races in his final Hopes regatta.

“It’s special to represent Australia at an international event and it feels like a privilege. This is my third Olympic Hopes, and each time it’s been an extraordinary experience training and competing”, Schmidt said.

Fellow NSW kayaker Under-15’s Jack Birt said, “I’m looking forward to the K2 200 with Jesse Ellis (SA) and the opportunity to race internationally. I’m looking forward to racing in Szeged because I’ve heard this is a great venue and there will be lots of people spectating”.

This year’s competition will be held in Hungary at the Olympic Centre of Szeged. The 2.4km long and 130m wide course is considered to be one of the best kayaking venues in the world and our young hopefuls are keen to get on the water.

Sunshine coast kayaker Mackenzie Duffy will look to improve on her 7th and 8th place finishes in the 2015 Hopes regatta.

”Representing Australia is pretty exciting, commented Duffy! It’s something not many people get to do which makes it even better”. The under 16’s paddler said, “I’m keen to race there (Szeged), my brother has raced there and says it’s a great course so I can’t wait to see it myself”.

Action gets underway from 8am local time on Friday. Follow the live streaming and results via the link below:

Callan Grady