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Murray ends Kenny's K1 Olympic quest

15 March 2012

At the Australian Sprint Championships at Penrith, Ken Wallace has been upstaged by the flying Murray Stewart in the K1 1000m. Wallace who won two individual medals in Beijing now must rely on the fate of other events to book his place in a crewed boat in London.

The issue for Australia’s paddlers is that the team can only have a maximum of 16 athletes, comprising seven athletes in Men’s Kayak, six in Women’s Kayak, and three in Men’s Canoe.

The women’s nominations are clearer. Today’s comfortable win in the women’s K4 completes their Olympic nomination requirements, coming after they claimed the first Olympic nomination trial at the Oceania Championships two weeks ago.

The crew of Rachel Lovell (QLD), Hannah Davis (SA), Jo Brigden Jones (NSW) and Lyndsie Fogarty (QLD), claimed the national title with an all-the-way win in the K4 500m race.

They won comfortably by 3.80s from Hailey McGinty (QLD), Naomi Flood (NSW), Chantal Minchin (NSW) and Alyce Burnett (QLD).

Fogarty and Flood fulfilled the K2 500m nomination on Wednesday and Alana Nicholls was dominant in the K1 200m and 500m.

Brigden Jones, bronze medallist in the K2 500m at the World Championships in 2011, admitted the dream of an Olympic place had not sunk in.

“I have been planning for it in the long term. I guess it will sink in later and get a bit more exciting as it comes closer,” she said.

Fogarty, who was a member of the women’s K4 500m crew that won bronze at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, believed the current crew still had the capacity to go faster, despite the impressive margin.

“I believe we can go faster. It was very controlled, and we did our job, we did what we needed to do, and that’s why we are so happy, because we executed what we wanted,” she said.

Man of the moment Stewart had a dominant display to win the K1 1000m Australian championships final, beating Wallace into second place, by 3.54s.

Stewart’s national title comes off the back of the Oceania Championships where he won the K1 1000m, the first of the nomination trials.

Stewart, who was part of the K4 1000m crew that won silver at the 2011 World Championships, has already done enough to earn the right to be nominated to the AOC.

Yesterday, the Men’s K4 1000m crew of Stewart, Jacob Clear, Tate Smith and David Smith won the Australian title in a time of 2:54.15 ahead of Western Australian crew of Brodie Holmes, Reece Baker, Brendon Sarson, and Daniel Bowker.

David Smith, who missed the victory in the first selection event at the Oceania Championships through a bout of acute glandular fever, kept his Olympic nomination hopes alive through his performance.

However, the Australian Canoeing Selectors now need to determine whether David Smith or Wallace, who raced as a replacement for Smith at the first Nomination Trial, will earn the right to Olympic nomination through the K4 event.

For Tate Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear, there is no uncertainty as the trio were in the winning combination at both nomination trials and have met the criteria for nomination to the AOC.

On Thursday, the Men’s C1 1000m final resulted in a dramatic finish with Marius Florian (NSW) beating home Jake Donaghey (QLD) by 1.35s.

Donaghey had already claimed the first nomination race for the C1 at the Oceania Championships and is the first eligible Australian to fulfil the nomination criteria.

Donaghey and teammate Alexander Haas became the first male sprint canoeists eligible for nomination to the 2012 Australian Olympic Team by winning both C2 events. Remarkably they are both just 17.

AOC with Australian Canoeing

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