A silver and a bronze medal in the paracanoe and some slashing performances from the canoe sprint team, including the successful comeback of Olympic bronze medallist Lachlan Tame to the international circuit, were the highlights for Australia on the second day of the ICF World Cup in Poznan, Poland, on Friday.
Susan Seipel took silver in the women’s VL2 paracanoe final, while Amanda Reynolds won an emotional bronze in the women’s KL3.
“I’m stoked with a silver, really happy to be back in the medals,” Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Seipel said about her medal in the boat class that will premier at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“It’s a quality field now, as it should be as we are heading into the Paralympics next year, so it’s really exciting for the sport. I hope it will be a cracking race at the Paralympics and I hope I will be there.”
Seipel also finished a strong fourth in the KL2 200.
Reynolds found herself in the unusual position of having to qualify for her KL3 final through the semi-finals, but the 2019 Rio silver medalist showed she is still a force to be reckoned with by surging home to win bronze.
“It’s been an up and down preparation, as usual,” she said.
“After yesterday’s effort I really thought I’d totally stuffed everything up. I’ve never done a semi in my life, and I don’t plan on doing another one.
“But once I got back in the right headspace again, I’m just so stoked to get a place this time. It gives me more of an opportunity to go home and go ‘right, this is what we’ve got to do’.
“It’s hard with my wrist, we need to be careful and technical with what we do. It’s always painful, but I think I’ve been through worse.”
Young gun Tom Green again reminded everyone what he is capable of with a smashing semifinal win in the men’s K1 1000 to book himself a place in the weekend’s final.
19-year-old Green will come up against tough opposition in the final, but “I was just aiming to get through,” Green said.
“I really didn’t line up and have a plan, I just wanted to take it as it came because it’s my first world cup and I’m not sure what everyone is capable of. I want to see what I can do, not only for the K1, but also the K4 later on.”
Lachlan Tame’s return to the Australian international team has got off to a strong start, with the 2016 K2 1000 bronze medalist qualifying for the K1 500 final alongside Matt Goblethis weekend.
Tame has been battling injury, and said he had times when he wondered if he was going to make it.
“It’s been an eventful couple of years, but it was nerve-wracking this morning getting that first heat out of the way,” Tame said.
“It’s awesome to be back, and an honour to represent your country. Even today I had to question if I wanted to do it anymore, and put myself all through that hurt, it’s a different level of hurt.
“But it was good, I’m happy and I’m loving it. I want to do hard work. I want to be in that K4 500. I want to take it to the Germans, they’re the best.”
Josie Bulmerand Bernadette Wallacemade history on Friday when they became the first C2 women’s pair to compete for Australia at a senior international event.
It was a steep learning curve, but Wallace and Bulmer said they learned a lot.
“This is the first time we’ve raced C2 internationally, its different trying to make our own path and not have those people ahead of us,” Wallace said.
“We’re watching and learning as much as we can around here. We need to learn to race canoe, we’ve been training it, but now we need to get to race against the fast people around us.”
“It’s a great learning experience, we’ve got stuff to take away from that race and work out what we can do better next time,” Bulmer said.
The pair will be racing the semifinal today. See full story about the women’s C2 HERE.
The women’s K4 500 crew of Cat Mcarthur, Jo Brigden-Jones, Alyce Burnettand Alyssa Bullwent painfully close to directly qualifying for their final, just being pipped by the home crew from Poland.
“Every race we get to learn something new,” Burnett said.
“I think we executed what we wanted to. We’ve got a few little things we need to work on, but I always like doing a semi-final because you learn so much more from it,” Brigden Jones said.
Earlier in the day Rio 2016 Olympians Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bullhad already won their respective heats in the women’s K1 1000 to progress straight through today’s final.
The men’s K4 combination of Jackson Collins, Murray Stewart, Tom Green andJoel McKitterickare also into the semi-finals after finishing fourth in the heat.
The Australian men’s K2 500 combination of Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood won their way straight into the final with a clinical display.
“It’s obviously not Olympic distance in the K2, so we obviously use it a lot in preparation for the 1000,” Fitzsimmons said.
“But having said that, both of us also have one eye on the K4 for next year, so it’s nice to run over that distance as well.”
In the men’s K2 1000 Fitzsimmons and Wood finished second in the heat and will contest the semifinal today.
In other results, Jean Van Der Westhuyzen will contest the B final of the men’s K1 1000, while Jamie Roberts and Brianna Massie went through to the semis in the women’s K2 200.
Racing continues today, Saturday, 25 May from 9:00 (17:00AEST)
Racing continues in Poznan from 9:00 local time (17:00 AEST).
Head to @auspaddleteamon facebook for all the interviews from the event.
Planet Canoe Live Schedule Local Times (+8hrs AEST)