Olympic gold medallist Ken Wallace has made a long overdue return to the winner's podium in the K1 500, the race where he won gold at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
In a repeat of the K1 1000 result earlier this week, Wallace proved too strong for long-time rival Murray Stewart at the national titles in Perth.
It's only the second time Wallace has been crowned Australian Champion. His other victory came in 2010.
The K1 500 was dumped from the Olympic program after Beijing, leaving Wallace to focus on his more favoured 1000 metre event.
"It's been a while since I raced one of them," an exhausted Wallace said after today's win.
"It's a love-hate relationship. It hurts more than the 1000, but it's half the distance.
"500 is a lot harder to win than the 1000. Saying that, the 1000 is still stupidly hard."
Wallace says his main focus has always been the 1000, in which he won bronze at the same Beijing Olympics. He never has focused 500 metre training.
"When my 1000 is going well, the 500 seems to fall into place. We might do a few 300 metre sprints at training, but that's it."
It's been a successful week for Wallace, the highlight his victory over Stewart in a blanket finish to the K1 1000.
He's done it despite being laid low with a chest infection in the lead-up which was still affecting him today.
"I'm still a bit crook, but I'm starting to feel a little bit stronger as the week goes on and I'm getting the antibiotics out of my system. But my lungs are still hurting, that's for sure" Wallace said.
"I would have liked to have been 100 per cent healthy and seen what I could have done here."Sunshine Coast teenager continued his impressive week, finishing third and beating home K4 gold medallist crew members Jacob Clear and Tate Smith.