The Olympic champion at Beijing 2008 in K1 500, and bronce in K1 1.000, the australian Ken Wallace, sees right now how his compatriot Murray Stewart has become more than a menace to be a serious obstacle in his try to reatin his crown at London 2012. Stewart looks not to conform with a seat in the Australian K4 that already got its olympic passport at Szeged World Championships 2011, giving a step forward into the K1. This morning he has become Oceania champion in the International Regatta Centre at Penrith (AUS) with a worldclass time of 3'31"50c, with Wallace more than 5 secs behind on third position.
After winning the 200 metres Australian time trails on Thursday, Murray Stewart (born South African), was beaten on Friday at that same distance in the Oceania Champs by Joel Simpson and Matthew Urquhart, who earned gold and silver in that order. Stewart was third, but there was only a 10 cents difference among them three in a very closed arrival.
But Stewart gave his best this morning with a dream performance in the K1 1.000. After a powerful start, he managed to take a two boat advantage through the 500, but far from paying the extra effort, he kept the stroke until the finish line, with a 5 secs gap with Jacob Clear, silver, and Ken Wallace, bronze. Wallace complaint about weeds in his lane, as also did Ben Fouhy, fourth but finally disqualified for not showing up at the boat weigh control, arguing that he didn't hear the call. Anyway, a slightly complicated race, but putting Stewart in a very good position to swap his K4 seat with Wallace facing London.
About the ladies, the 200 metres on Friday made good the bets, with world champion Lisa Carrington (NZL) claiming victory over Alana Nicholls (AUS), who paid her back this morning with her victory in the 500 metres, where Carrington took silver.
You can check all the results here for day 1 and for day 2 of the Championships, waiting for the team boat finals on Sunday.