International flatwater racing returns this Friday when Szeged, Hungary hosts the 2013 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup 1.
Dual Olympic medallist Ken Wallace will lead a small Australian contingent to compete at this year’s World Cups.
Joining Wallace in the team will be younger sister Bernadette, who returns to the Australian fold after missing out on selection last year, and Australian Surf Life Saving stars Naomi Flood and Lachlan Tame, with the latter making his maiden senior World Cup appearance in Szeged.
Despite the absence of the bulk of the Australian team, the quartet will be eager to get the opportunity to measure themselves, with a strong field of 800 athletes from 40 countries assembled for the first of three ICF World Cups this year.
Racing will commence on Friday morning with the women’s K1 500, K2 500 and men’s K1 1000 heats to get racing underway.
Wallace and Flood will contest the women’s K2 500 event, with the duo looking to build their international form after a flawless preparation during the Australian summer, with victories at Grand Prix 3 and the National Championships.
The duo will also contest the women’s K1 1000 heats on Friday, before lining up in the K2 200 on Saturday.
The men’s K1 1000 looks set to be one hell of a showdown with a star studded field assembled for the marquee men’s event.
Ken Wallace will take on the likes of German Max Hoff, Swedish star Anders Gustafsson, Denmark’s Rene Holten Poulsen and Belarus young gun Aleh Yurenia, confident that he can match it with the best after reclaiming his mantle as Australia’s best K1 1000 paddler, after victory over long term rival Murray Stewart at the National Championships earlier in the year.
Wallace will also contest the men’s K1 500 alongside emerging paddler Tame, who he combined with to win three gold medals at the Oceania Championships in New Zealand earlier in the year.
The 24 year old Avalon paddler will also contest the men’s K1 200, after finishing second behind Western Australian K2 200 Olympian Steve Bird at Nationals.
The second ICF World Cup will proceed a week later in Racice, Czech Republic, where all four athletes will take on a busier schedule.
Szeged is the third largest city in Hungary with a population of 170,052 (2012). It is situated near the southern border of Hungary, just south of the mouth of the Maros River, on both banks of the Tisza River.
Szeged has been a regular host of ICF ranked canoe sprint events, and was the host of the 2011 World Championships, following a 450 million HUF venue upgrade, making it one of the world’s finest venues of international kayaking and rowing competitions.
Key World Cup Information
Australian World Cup 1 Schedule (All time local Szeged time, 8hrs behind AUS EST)
9:30am – R7 WK2 500 Heat 3 (Flood & Wallace)
10:13am – R12 MK1 1000 Heat 5 (Ken Wallace)
11:16am – R21 WK1 1000 Heat 1 (Bernadette Wallace)
11:23am – R22 WK1 1000 Heat 2 (Naomi Flood)
2:15pm – WK2 500 semi finals commence
2:35pm – MK1 1000 semi finals commence
3:38pm – WK1 1000 semi finals commence
5:05pm – R47 MK1 500 Heat 2 (Lachlan Tame)
5:10pm – R48 MK1 500 Heat 3 (Ken Wallace)
6:10pm – MK1 500 semi finals commence
10:37am – R78 WK2 500 A Final
10:49am – R79 MK1 1000 A Final
11:29am – R83 WK1 1000 A Final
2:25pm – R89 MK1 200 Heat 1 (Lachlan Tame)
3:50pm – R106 WK2 200 Heat 1 (Flood & Wallace)
4:50pm – MK1 200 semi finals commence
6:00pm – WK2 200 semi finals commence
10:07am – R131 MK1 500 A Final
10:23am – R133 MK1 200 A Final
10:56am – R138 WK2 200 A Final
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