K4 on their way to Gold
Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear
Australia's gold-medal winning K4 1000m team's head coach Jimmy Owens believes the next four years could include the crowning moments of the sport of kayaking in this country.
And K4 crew members Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear have looked outside the square in their preparations for the ICF World Championships, starting on August 28 in Duisburg, Germany.
They have sought out top-of-the range altitude tents from Colorado, in the US, which they will begin trialling soon.
“If all goes well, the tents will hopefully help the boys get fitter by increasing their aerobic capacities,” Owens said.
“Our top European competitors have the benefit of training at altitude in their winter seasons when they can go skiing.
“These tents can keep the guys at home – they won’t have to worry about setting aside a few weeks to go to Thredbo for altitude training.”
Owens described the tents as just a small way his team can maintain its status at the top of the sport after its moment of glory at London 2012.
“Let’s hope this can give us a bit of an edge – you can’t stand still in any sport if you want to be the best,” he said.
“We’ve started our climb up the mountain again, looking ahead to the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.
“The next four years can be the crowning glory of our sport – our K4 team in still young, but it is being pushed by a very good group of kids coming through that is five to seven years younger.”
After a gruelling and ultimately successful 2012, Owens’s crew has decided to not travel to Europe for World Cup meets in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland this month.
But the team is on track for more glory in Germany.
“We did three minutes and three seconds and won at the national championships in Perth (last month) with a strong headwind,” Smith said.
“We did two minutes and 55 seconds at London when it was flat, which probably meant we were two seconds off our best.
“We’re looking at getting on the podium at the world championships ... hopefully these tents can give us a bit of an edge.”