Eight young Australian canoe sprint paddlers will continue their fight for an elusive medal as action heats up at the 27th Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia today.
Australia has a successful history at the event with London Olympic K4 gold medallist Murray Stewart and fellow 2012 Olympians Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips among the Australian’s to have featured on the podium in the past.
The 2013 flatwater program began on Saturday, with six finals held overnight with the remaining 18 to be raced today.
The hosts and traditional European heavy-weights Poland, Hungary and Belarus have dominated proceedings so far.
Three Australian boats will feature in ‘A’ Finals on Monday, the men’s K4 200 and women’s K4 200 and K4 500.
The men’s K4 200 crew of Aaron Murphy (QLD), Charlie Copeland (QLD), Nick Dawe (NSW) and Jacob Tsagaris (NSW) secured Australia a finals berth after they finished third in their semifinal on Sunday.
They will need to improve their semifinal time of 34.080 by at least a second if they are to match it with semifinal victors Hungary and heat winners Ukraine and Belarus in the final.
Earlier in the day the quartet narrowly missed out on a top three finals berth finishing fourth in the semifinal of the men’s K4 500 and K4 1000 events.
In the K2 200 Copeland and Dawe went agonisingly close to reaching the final missing out by just 0.02 seconds, while the pair also finished fourth in the K2 500 semifinal.
The unlucky fourth position became all too familiar for the young Australians with Murphy and Tsagaris just missing out on a K2 1000 finals berth finishing fourth in their semifinal.
In the men’s K1 events 23 year old Murphy was knocked out in the semifinals of the men’s K1 500 and K1 1000 finishing seventh in both events.
The Gold Coast kayaker was no match Portugal’s Fernando Pimenta who upstaged 2013 World Cup Series star Aleh Yurenia of Belarus to win gold in the final.
The Australian women fared slightly better than the men with Sydney Northern Beaches’ trio Jacqueline Green, Talissa Taurins and Mackenzie Labine-Romain joining Victoria’s Virginia Carlton in the women’s K4 200 and K4 500 finals on Monday.
In the women’s K1 events Carlton finished 9th in the K1 500 semifinal, while Green finished 8th in the K1 200 heats.
Carlton and Labine-Romain later went on to finish fourth in the women’s K2 500 semifinal more than four seconds behind Brazil who claimed crucial third position.
Labine-Romain also combined with fellow Club paddler Taurins finishing fourth in the K2 200 semifinal.
Racing will get underway from 10am local time on Monday (4pm Australian EST). Please refer to schedule below for Australian race times.
The event will be televised LIVE on Eurosport. Please check your local guides for more information.
11:09am - WK4 200 Final
11:35am – MK4 200 Final
4:33pm – WK4 500 Final
(All times Kazan, Russia time, 6hrs behind AUS EST).
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