Australia’s Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame have defended their World Championship silver medal, finishing second behind Germany in the K2 1000 on day four of the ICF sprint World Championships in Milan.
The result gives Australia two more quotas for the Olympic Games in Rio next year.
Wallace and Tame, who won silver in Moscow last year after coming together as a pair only months beforehand, went out hard in the final and were sitting third at the halfway stage.
They dropped back to fourth with 250 metres to go, but Wallace’s customary powerful finish pulled the Australians back onto the podium.
Pre-race favourites Germany won in a time of 3.10.175, with Wallace and Tame 0.957 seconds behind, and Serbia finishing third.
Wallace believes that he and Tame can catch the German’s in the year ahead.
“I think we can definitely do it for sure and we got closer again today, the margins are getting smaller and smaller between us”, Wallace said.
“I am stoked, we got the job done, we got two Olympic quotas for Australia and I am happy.”
Earlier on Saturday Murray Stewart faded late in his K1 1000 final to finish sixth, after sitting in a top three position for most of the race.
Stewart was disappointed post-race and has plenty to work on moving forward.
“The last part was hard and overall it was not my best race. I want to improve and build on this for next year,” Stewart said.
Western Australian pair Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips, and Sunshine Coast duo Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bull also featured in the K2 200 and K2 500 B finals, finishing fourth and seventh respectively.
The semifinals followed in the afternoon with the new-look men’s K4 1000 crew of David Smith, Riley Fitzsimmons, Jordan Wood and Jacob Clear securing four more Olympic quotas after winning their semifinal in 2:53.246.
“It’s a big relief, actually,” Smith said.
“Our ultimate goal was just to make the final. With a new crew it was going to be so hard doing that in an Olympic qualifying final.”
“The most exciting thing is now we can just attack this final and give it everything we’ve got without worrying about other things.”
Unfortunately the K4 500 women didn’t get the result they were hoping for.
Jo Brigden-Jones, Alana Nicholls, Naomi Flood and Bernadette Wallace finished sixth in their semifinal and will contest the B final on Sunday.
The men’s and women’s K1 200 semifinals were also contested.
Burnett recorded a time of 42.379 to finish fifth and will race the C final tomorrow.
While Bird will race the men’s K1 200 C final after finishing sixth in his semifinal.