Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Stewart gets four golds at AUS Sprint champs, but leaves the door open for Wallace to Olympics

Stewart and Wallace winning the K2 1.000
Finished on Sunday the Australian Sprint Championships at Penrith (AUS) and there is one brilliant star upcoming: Murray Stewart earned another two golds to finish with a total of four National titles. To his victories in K1 and K4 at the 1.000, he added the K2 with Ken Wallace, and the K1 200. This last win had also another trhee "winners", as he beated in the final Joel Simpson in his only chance to get into the nominees for the Olympic team. That left Simpson without any victory, therefore Wallace and the couple Bird/Phillips, winners at the K2 200, earned the right to into de seven paddlers chosen to go for the olympic berths.

After four false starts that put in the edge the contestants' nerves, Simpson needed to get the gold to be into the Olympic team, but after a powerful start he finally was surpassed by Stewart in a final rush that gave him his fourth gold by just half a second. So Wallace, Bird and Phillips go into the three remaining places after the already nominees of the K4 (Tate Smith, David Smith, Jacob Clear and Murray Stewart), as the total amount was set in seven for the men's kayak. After fighting for the olympic places not achieved yet, Murray Stewart will be first to choose his preferred discipline at the games, as he won all the selective trials. That leaves Wallace waiting to Stewart's decision to see in which of the olympic boats he could paddle at London.

The other two paddlers benefiting from Simpson's defeat are Bird and Phillips, who won the K2 200 and were delighted with their inclusion into the olympic team. Decided the places at the men's team, there was no change about the women, as Alana Nicholls also won the K1 200, earning the K1 gold at all the distances. Silver went to Hanna Davis and bronze to Naomi Flood. At the C1 200, victory was claimed by Sebastian Marczak, who joins then the C2 of Haas/Donaghey in the fight for the olympic berths. The complete team selected and who needs to be signed by the AOC is:

Men's Kayak:
Murray Stewart
Tate Smith
Jacob Clear
David Smith
Ken Wallace
Jesse Phillips
Stephen Bird

Women's Kayak:
Alana Nicholls
Rachel Lovell
Hannah Davis
Jo Brigden Jones
Lyndsie Fogarty
Naomi Flood

Men's Canoe:
Alex Haas
Jake Donaghey
Sebastian Marczak

At this link you can read the full results of the championships.

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