The 27th Summer Universiade canoe sprint program concluded on Monday following three days of exciting racing in the Russian city of Kazan.
Australia fielded an inexperienced squad of eight athletes, many of whom were competing at their first international event.
Australia reached just three ‘A’ finals in Russia with the K4 500 women’s crew consisting of Sydney Northern Beaches’ trio of Jacqueline Green, Talissa Taurins and Mackenzie Labine-Romain, and Victorian Virginia Carlton producing the best result finishing eighth in the final.
The men’s K4 crew of Aaron Murphy, Charlie Copeland, Nick Dawe and Jacob Tsagaris also progressed to the A finals over 200 and 500 metres finishing ninth in both events.
The young paddlers were simply no match for European heavy-weights Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Czech Republic and host Russia who dominated the flatwater events.
However the team will learn a lot from the experience of competing in front of a larger crowd and preparing for a big race, leaving them in good stead for the future.
On Sunday Copeland and Dawe went agonisingly close to reaching the men’s K2 200 final, missing out by just 0.02 seconds in a spirited display.
Unfortunately the duo were unable to repeat the previous heroics of London Olympic duo Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips who have featured in the podium in the past.
In other results 23 year old Gold Coast kayaker Murphy gained the invaluable racing experience of competing in the coveted K1 men’s event.
Despite being knocked out in the semifinal, Murphy would have learnt a lot from competing against high calibre opposition including Portuguese star Fernando Pimenta and ICF World Cup stand-out Aleh Yurenia of Belarus.
Murphy also combined with Tsagaris in the K2 1000 narrowly missing out on a final berth, finishing fourth in the semifinal.
In the women’s K1 events Carlton finished ninth 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.
The team will shortly return to Australia.
Please follow the links below for full results.