ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships
Photograph:Balint Vekassy (ICF)
30 year old Currumbin Creek kayaker Ken Wallace has won silver in the mens K1 1000 at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany overnight.
The 2008 Beijing K1 500 Olympic champion was at the end of the field at the half way point but showed tremendous courage fighting back from the brink to finish second in the coveted men’s event.
Wallace finished 0.44 seconds behind 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Max Hoff who won gold for Germany much to the delight of the home fans.
Hungarian paddler Bence Dombvari finished third just 0.02 seconds behind Wallace in a hard fought final.
“That was really stinging that last 250 metres”, said Wallace.
“I am stoked to get through it, I had a really slow first 500 with that head wind really getting the better of me.”
Asked what he was thinking at the half way point when he trailed Dombvari by six seconds Wallace responded, “Geez It is a long way to catch up but I am lucky enough to have that turn of speed and it is a matter of when I use it and in this case maybe 40 metres too late but then again I might not of gotten a place at all so I am pretty happy to be here in a great start to the weekend.”
The victory caps off an excellent year for Wallace after he won three gold, a silver and a bronze at the ICF World Cups earlier in the year.
Yesterday Wallace said 2013 has been a standout. “I have had the best year so far, I have had the best World Cup results that I have had in a long time and nothing beats having a little baby boy Nixon so I am just content with the year and whatever happens from now on is just a bonus.”
Wallace will look to add to his medal tally and perhaps go even one better when he contests the men’s K1 500 and K1 5000 finals on the penultimate day of this year World Championships on Sunday.
In other results London K4 1000 gold medallist members Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear finished fifth in the men’s K2 1000 A final.
Germany continued their domination of the men’s 1000 metre distance taking out the K2 final in 3:22.33, 0.67 seconds ahead of Belarus with Hungary third.
Clear and Stewart finished just under two seconds behind the winning time.
Western Australian Alana Nicholls finished ninth in the women’s K1 500 final. The Bayswater athlete was no match for London Olympic champion Danuta Kozak of Hungary who won the gold in 1:57.39.
Second was German Katrin Wagner-Austin with London Olympic K1 200 champion Lisa Carrington of New Zealand finishing third in a star-studded finale.
In the last final of the day U23 pair Alyce Burnett and Amy Peters finished sixth in the K2 1000 A final.
“I have been loving every single race with this girl and I would not have made it without her, she has been keeping me going and keeping me up in every race so I am happy with that”, said Peters.
Earlier in the day Western Australian duo Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips didn’t produce the result that they had hoped for finishing sixth in their K2 200 semifinal.
After winning their heat on Thursday the pair were confident of achieving their goal of an A final in Germany but will have to settle for a B final on Sunday.
Bernadette Wallace and Naomi Flood won the women’s K2 500 B final after missing out on an A final berth yesterday.
The pair recorded a time of 1:46.05, 0.39 seconds ahead of Canada with Argentina third.
Lachlan Tame also featured on Saturday finishing fifth in his K1 200 semifinal and achieving his goal of a B final finish in Duisburg.
The Avoca beach paddler finished just under a second behind Swedish paddler Petter Ostrom who produced the quickest semifinal time of 34.33.
The final day of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships will get underway on Sunday morning from 9:00am local time (5:00pm AUS EST) for the gruelling men’s and women’s K1 5000 finals.
They will be followed by the men’s and women’s K4 finals and Ken Wallace in the K1 500.
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