Men's K4 are on track for Worlds
Day one of the 2013 Canoe Sprint National Championships at Champion Lakes, Western Australia has concluded with Australias K4 Olympic gold medal crew on track for worlds with an impressive victory in the K4 1000 to highlight an impressive first days racing.
2012 London Olympic K4 gold medallists Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear have on eye on winning gold at the ICF World Championships later this year after powering to victory in the K4 1000 in Perth this afternoon.
Paddling into a challenging head wind the ‘k4some’ proved too strong, winning in a time of 3:03.46, 5.29 seconds ahead of an U23 crew containing David Smith's younger brother Scott, South Australian Glenn Rypp and Queensland teenagers Jordan Wood and Bill Bain.
“That was a good race for us,” said K4 skipper Tate Smith.
“We had a solid hit out in that one and I think we can get going for worlds knowing that we don’t have too much to catch up on, the boat ran really nicely.”
Earlier in the day Stewart showed ominous signs in the men’s K1 1000, qualifying fastest for tomorrow morning’s final.
Stewart powered out of the gates and was never headed winning in 3:42.80, 2.53 seconds ahead of Clear, with fellow Gold Coast paddler Wood 0.44 seconds further back. Lachlan Tame also qualified for the final finishing fourth, 4.11 seconds adrift of Stewart’s winning time.
Joining the quartet in the men’s K1 1000 final will be Tate Smith who edged 2008 Beijing Bronze medallist Ken Wallace in the second semi final, with Bain and Tasmanian paddler Sam Norton also advancing.
In a busy first days’ racing for Australia’s senior 1000m men, Stewart and Clear combined to record the fastest K2 1000 heat time of 3:26.86, setting up an enticing finale tomorrow where they will battle it out with the newly formed pair of Wallace and Tame, and fellow K4 stars Tate and David Smith.
The women’s K4 500 saw Queensland duo Alyce Burnett and Bernadette Wallace combine with New South Wales pair Naomi Flood and Jo Brigden-Jones to win in a time of 1:41.44, 3.36 seconds ahead of emerging U23 paddlers Catherine McArthur, Amy Peters, Stacey Higgins and Coco Howcroft.
Flood and Wallace also combined to dominate the women’s K2 500 heats and will take some beating in tomorrow’s final.
The women’s K1 500 final promises to be one hell of a race, with nothing separating the top four paddler’s following two exciting semi finals.
Flood recorded the fastest time of 2:03.88 to win the second semi final ahead of Bayswater Olympian Alana Nicholls and Kawana Waters’ Hailey McGinty.
The first semi final saw Wallace edge Brigden-Jones by 0.19 seconds, with South Australian veteran Hannah Davis finishing third.
Sunshine Coast duo Stacey Higgins and Burnett secured the remaining finals spots after placing fourth in their respective semi finals.
In other results Currumbin Creek’s Ellie Leaver took out the women’s U23 K1 500 final in 2:15.60, 2.04 seconds ahead of West Lakes’ Anna Hennessy, while Geelong’s Virginia Carlton finished a second further adrift.
Racing will continue on Thursday with the men’s junior K4 1000 finals to get the action underway from 8:00am local time.
Tomorrow will also see a record field of 18 paracanoeist’s contest this year’s Nationals.
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