One of the strongest rivalries in Australian kayaking will continue tomorrow when Murray Stewart and Ken Wallace go head-to-head in the final of the K1 200 at the national titles in Perth.
But Perth kayaker Stephen Bird is threatening to upstage both of them after a blistering semi- final win today.
"I'm really happy with that effort," Bird said.
"I've had elbow surgery since London, which has given me a chance to look at other aspects of my training.
"But Murray has been the champ for the past three years, so he'll definitely go in as favourite."
Wallace pipped Stewart in their semi-final, but if the 3-time Australian champion was worried he wasn't showing it.
"There's a lot of races still to go," Stewart said.
"I'm not starting as well as I would like at the moment, but we'll wait and see how it goes tomorrow.
"You always want to defend a title, but I'm not too concerned. My priority is definitely the 1000, and that's out of the way, so there's a bit more fun in the 200. But it would be nice to defend the title."