K4 and K2 crews win World Cup silver
29 May 2016
CANOE/KAYAK-SPRINT: The Australian men’s K4 1000 sprint canoe team has won silver at a World Cup event in the Czech Republic on Sunday, as it continues its build up towards defending its London 2012 Olympic gold medal.
The crew of Ken Wallace, Riley Fitzsimmons, Jacob Clear and Jordan Wood backed up last week’s gold medal with a close second to an impressive German team at Racice.
The crew made a slow start, which Wallace said they will work on before next week’s World Cup in Portugal.
“It’s great to have another race under our belts,” he said.
“It’s good to work out where everyone else is in the mix, and you get a feel for their kind of race plan.
“We’re going to race every event that we can now. Our results aren’t the emphasis, but to go out and work on things that we can make better.”
Fitzsimmons, who alongside Wood won the U23 K2 1000 World Championships, said it’s a thrilling time for the crew.
“It’s quite exciting being a new crew,” he said.
“We’ve raced twice and our worst result is a second, so we’re pretty excited for the future now.”
Clear, who is the only member remaining from the London 2012 crew, said he expects a lot of improvement from all countries before Rio.
“Everyone’s got things they need to work on,” Clear said.
“Come the Olympics everyone’s going to be a better crew than they are now.”
Wallace and Tame find form in Europe
On Saturday at the canoe sprint World Cup in the Czech Republic, Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame have returned to their best form to win a silver medal in the men’s K2 1000.
One week ago the two-time World Championship silver medallists had their worst ever international result, having to settle for a C final in Duisburg after a lack-lustre performance.
But the change in form in less than a week was dramatic, with Wallace and Tame easily winning their heat, and following up with a semi-final win on Friday.
Only the German team of Marcus Gross and Max Rendschmidt finished in front of the fast-finishing Australians.
“The race was good, a lot better than last weekend,” Wallace said.
“We’re on the improvement and there’s stuff for us to work on, being a few months out from Rio it’s exciting that we do have stuff we can work on.
“If we were out here and flogging it and winning by a mile, it would be nice, but its also nice to have some things to work on.”
Tame said the Germans had a change of race tactics, making their run at the half way stage and surprising Wallace and Tame.
“They did, and the hurt us, they hurt us bad,” Tame said.
“They had a good gap on us at the 250, but we didn’t panic, we kept to our plan and we came home not too bad.”
Also showing major improvement in the space of a week was the K2 500 women’s team of Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett, who finished sixth in Saturday’s A final after making the B final in Duisburg.
“It feels pretty good, I think we’ve made a big improvement on last week and feel pretty good in the boat together,” Burnett said.
“We’re starting well, finishing well, so we can’t complain. It’s a strong field this week.”
The Sunshine Coast pair will head back to Australia next week to train, before returning to Italy in July for a training camp ahead of Rio.
K1 1000 paddler Daniel Bowker finished a close fourth in his B final.
Ross Solly for Canoeing Australia