Little seperated Wallace & Stewart in the K1 1000 final
2013 National Championships
Nicholls surprises herself to claim the K1 500 title, Ken Wallace edges Murray Stewart in the K1 1000, while Stewart and Clear dominate the K2 in an entertaining second day of flatwater action at Champion Lakes in Western Australia.
26 year old Bayswater paddler Alana Nicholls rediscovered some of the form which saw her taste success on the World Cup circuit last year with a hard fought victory in the women’s K1 500 final today.
Nicholls produced a fantastic display of sprint canoeing overcoming the red hot Naomi Flood, who herself has started 2013 in a blaze of glory.
Nicholls recorded a time of 2:00.36, 0.92 seconds ahead of Flood, with Sydney Northern Beaches Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones edging Bernadette Wallace for third.
“Just watching the girls in the heats and the semis, everyone’s really lifted a bit this year,” said Nicholls.
“I thought I’d be top three at best. I am probably a few months away from being where I was last year.”
Flood and Wallace teamed up to dominate the women’s K2 500 final, there second K2 National title together in the past four years.
"I think together on the Gold Coast, we train together every day, and it's come together at the right time," Flood said.
"We definitely have lots to work on, but we've improved heaps so it's very promising."
Wallace hasn't raced overseas for several years, but is excited about the possibilities.
"As soon as I get that plane ticket in my hand I'm going to be so happy, I'll probably have to shed a little relief tear," said Wallace.
"This is what we kayak for, to race and be the best in the world. I'm so keen to get overseas."
Currumbin Creek star Ken Wallace won a thrilling men’s K1 1000 final after edging reigning national champion Murray Stewart at the finish winning in a time of 3:42.24, just 0.14 seconds ahead of his long term rival.
Gold Coast’s Jacob Clear finished third ahead of U23 duo Jordan Wood and Bill Bain, who showed that Australia has strong depth in the men’s 1000m events.
Wallace was relieved to claim the victory after suffering from illness the past week.
"I didn't feel too good. I'm just stoked to get through that race," Wallace said.
"In the warm up I was doing 500 metre efforts and I couldn't even breathe. I just feel a bit weak from the antibiotics and I'm struggling for breath, but if Grant Hackett can win medals at the Olympics on one lung, than I might do alright."
In the canoeing events, New South Welshman Marius Florian was too strong in the men’s C1 1000 final winning in 4:54.32, more than nine seconds ahead of London Olympic duo Alex Haas and Jake Donaghey of the Brothers Club in Brisbane.
Donaghey and Haas bounced back to claim the national C2 1000 title.
The Queensland duo had little trouble winning the title, despite a limited preparation to this year’s event.
“To be honest I’m quite surprised,” said Donaghey.
“For two months work we’re paddling quite well, so we’re looking forward to a big year of training.”
Earlier in the day a record field of 18 paracanoeists got their first taste of competition at this year’s Nationals with Penrith Valley paddler Colin Sieders the highlight, winning his
first National title in the men’s PC MK1 1000 arms only final.
Sieders won in 5:46.06, 18.95 seconds ahead of Victorian Gary Connor, with Varsity Lakes’ paddler Pail Bailey finishing third.
Other parcanoeist’s to taste victory over 1000 metres today included Brock Ingram in the MK1 1000 LTA final, Glenn Pyne in the MK1 1000 TA final and Kara Kennedy in the WV1 1000 final.
In the afternoon Victoria’s Amanda Drennan won the first ever LTA National title with victory ahead of West Lakes Melissa Bussenschutt in the pc K1 500 open multiclass final.
Kennedy finished in third, the first of the arms only athletes ahead of local Champion lakes paddler Kathy Mallory.
West Lakes Nicholas Bulmer handled the windy Perth conditions the best, winning the men’s U23 K1 1000 final in 4:01.55, 2.55 seconds ahead of Kawana Waters’ Nicholas Bolton with Hungarian youngster Gabor Durko just 0.2 seconds further adrift.
In an excellent day of racing for the West Lakes club, Bulmer recorded a second victory combing with Sean Charles DeDai to win the U23 K2 1000 in 3:45.13, 2.50 seconds ahead of South Korean pair Jiwon Kim and Minkyu Choi, with Mercantile duo Tim Arnold and Tom Hedditch finishing third.
Direct Members paddler Sean Lohse won the men’s U18 K1 1000 final in 3:58.60, 1.37 seconds ahead of Currumbin Creek’s Joel McKitterick, with Riley Fitzsimons of the Paddle NSW Direct club finishing third.
McKitterick went one better in the U18 K2 1000 final, combing with fellow Queenslander Jy Duffy for victory in a time of 3:39.96.
Bendigo’s Rebecca Mann was the standout performer in the women’s U18 events today after she recorded victories in the K1 and K2 500 events.
Mann was a class above her opponent winning the K1 500 in 2:10.75, 1.50 seconds ahead of Sydney Northern Beaches youngster Deandra Godoy, with West Lakes Josephine Bulmer finishing in the bronze medal position.
Mann later combined with Alyssa Bull of Kawana Waters in the afternoon for victory in the U18 K2 500 in 1:58.28, two seconds clear of Shannon Reynolds and Madison Davies, with Godoy and Mackenzie Labine Romain combing for third.
Racing continues this afternoon with the long distance events, the men’s and women’s 5000 and 2500 metre events. A full wrap up of the long distance events will be posted tomorrow morning.
Racing continues tomorrow morning from 8am local time with the men’s K1 200 heats to get racing underway.
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