Popular Perth duo Stephen Bird and Jesse Phillips confirmed themselves as the number one sprint paddlers in Australia with a convincing win at the National titles today.
Both underwent surgery after last year's Olympics, casting some doubt over their chances of a fourth consecutive K2 200 title.
But they need not have worried, prevailing over a strong field in tough cross-wind conditions.
"It was a hard-fought race, especially for myself," Phillips said.
"Yesterday, with five races, really took the edge off me. My race fitness isn't there yet so we're really happy with a win.
"Confidence for me, especially in my body and my conditioning, was the big hurdle for me."
After finishing sixth at last year's Olympics, the duo say they've identified areas where they can improve.
"We've established our weaknesses, strength wise," Bird said.
"We're eating better, eating well, to fuel our strength training. We felt on the line in London our weakness was horsepower against the bigger boys. It's a four year process, so hopefully by the time 2015, 2016 comes around we'll be different animals."
The Phillips/Bird victory proved popular in front of their hometown crowd. Especially, it seems, for Bird's mother.
"It feels pretty blocked out most of the time, but I probably heard mum," Bird said.
"She screams the loudest. I actually heard her at the Olympic Games, which is impossible. She actually has a great pitch."
Bird also revealed he was supremely confident heading in to this morning's K1 200 final, despite high-class opposition.
"You know what you've done in training, I know what I've done, I've trained hard," he said.
"I haven't left many stones unturned, so I expected a lot of myself, which is kind of validated by the amount of work I've done. I did expect to be up their on the podium at least."
The former South African says the K2 is still his main priority, and concedes he'd have to improve dramatically if he was going to make an impact in the K1 internationally.