Olympic aspirants to put it all on the line in Penrith
18 February 2016
CANOE/KAYAK: Australia’s canoe slalom Olympic aspirants will put it all on the line at the Oceania Championships at Penrith Whitewater Stadium this week with the event providing the final opportunity for the nation’s best slalom paddlers to press their claims for Olympic nomination.
Racing will commence on Friday 19 February and conclude on Sunday 21 February.
The Oceania Championships will be the second of two key Olympic nomination events with the Australian Open hosting the first of three trials in Penrith a fortnight ago.
On that occasion Jessica Fox, Lucien Delfour and Ian Borrows were triumphant, finishing the highest amongst the Australian paddlers in the K1W, K1M and C1M events to put themselves a step ahead of their rivals heading into the Oceania Championships.
The Oceania Championships will also play an important role in determining the makeup of our senior and under-23 national teams this year.
A world-class field of athletes will compete in Penrith with London Olympic K1 gold medallist Daniele Molmenti of Italy, K1 women’s world champion Katerina Kudejova and fellow Czech and men’s K1 world champion Jiri Prskavec set to headline the event.
Australian Open champions Vit Prindis, Matej Benus and Slovakian cousins Peter and Ladislav Skantar round out an impressive field.
Racing will commence on Friday with the heats for all Olympic disciplines to take place on the opening day.
The C1M, K1W and C2M semi-finals and finals will take place on Saturday. The K1M semi-finals and finals and C1W heats, semi-finals and finals will follow on Sunday.
Friday’s heats will have added importance for the Australian athletes as they will act as the second of three Olympic trials.
A full preview of each discipline will be published on the Australian Canoeing website tomorrow.
For Australia’s C1 men, securing a place in the Olympic team is a far trickier situation than those chasing a K1 berth.
At last year’s World Championships, Australia’s C1 men failed to secure an Olympic quota but will get a chance to do exactly that at the Oceania Championships.
The quota will be determined in the heats phase of the competition. Robin Jeffery, Kynan Maley (pictured) and Ian Borrows will be the three Australian paddlers eligible to earn the C1 Men Oceania qualification quota place for Australia.
The quota will be determined from the results in the final stage reached in the competition by the nominated Oceania competitors.
Assuming our men are successful in securing a C1 quota, the selection process will work exactly the same as the other disciplines. If not, we will only send a K1W and K1M to Rio.
Assuming our men are successful in securing a C1 quota, the selection process will work exactly the same as the other disciplines.