Olympic bronze medallist Lachlan Tame has turned back the clock to win the K1 200 title at the Australian National Championships in Penrith, and says he’d like to get more opportunity to race the shorter distances.
Tame made his name as a sprint canoeist when he started in the sport, but was drafted into a K2 1000 boat with veteran Ken Wallace four years ago which culminated in an Olympic bronze medal in Rio.
With Wallace absent through injury this week, Tame has taken the opportunity to return to his roots, but surprised even himself by winning the short sprint.
“It doesn’t matter how long the races are, they all hurt,” Tame said.
“It’s nice not to have to hurt for as long, it’s good to be able to just crash and bash your way down the course. I haven’t done a whole heap of raw speed training this season.
“It’s definitely not out of the question for me to do more 200’s. When I was doing them I was thereabouts on the world scale, but never reached the levels I have in K2.”
The women’s K4 combination of Jaime Roberts, Cat McArthur, Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett added the 200 metre title to the 500 title they won on the opening day of Nationals.
Australia failed to qualify for the K4 500 in Rio, and McArthur said everyone is aware what needs to be done to make sure the same doesn’t happen in four years time.
McArthur is currently based in Adelaide, Roberts in Perth and Burnett and Bull at the High Performance Centre on the Gold Coast.
“This time around we can’t be precious, we have to realise what our goals are, and if that means some of us have to relocate so we get more time in the boat we can’t be precious and say we want to stay home where our friends are,” McArthur said.
“I think we have to commit to the next cycle, and put these things in place to temporarily relocate. You don’t have to move forever, but you have to be open to options.”
Burnett said it was the logical next step.
“Relocating is ideal, the Centre of Excellence is on the Gold Coast, and we’d like to see the program move there in the next few years,” she said.
“But if the decision is taken that we have to move elsewhere, than we’re be happy with that.”
In other results on Wednesday, Olympic finalists Bull and Burnett won the K2 200 title, Curtis McGrath and Amanda Reynolds added Paracanoe 1000 metre titles to their list of achievements for the week, Cristi Florian took the C1 1000 gold, and Sebastian Marczak and Marcelo Cabezas won the C2 1000.