First Canoe Sprint Paddlers Secure Provisional Tokyo 2020 Tickets – NSW wins State vs State

The 2020 Paddle Australia Canoe Sprint Championships have wrapped up with the first Australian canoe sprint paddlers provisionally locking their Tokyo 2020 nominations following an intense week of selection trials and national titles racing at Sydney International Regatta Centre (11-15 March 2020).

Provisional Olympic nominations include London Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones, Rio Olympians Alyce Wood and Alyssa Bull as well as Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood, who will get a chance to race at their second Games pending the conclusion of all formalities next week. 20-year old Team youngsters Tom Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen will head to their first Games pending official nomination by Paddle Australia and selection by the Australian Olympic Committee with other nominations to be confirmed later next week.

The 2020 Paddle Australia Canoe Sprint Championships doubled up as the final Olympic and Paralympic canoe sprint as well as national team selection trials and on Sunday also included the state vs state regatta with NSW taking home the wins across both the men’s and women’s open as well as under 18 events.

Sydney Northern Beaches won the Club Award for the most successful club with South Australia’s West Lakes Canoe Club in second and Avoca Kayak Club ranked third.

Sydney Northern Beaches – JGRIMages

Men’s Kayaking Events
In the men’s kayaking events, Queenslanders and team youngsters Tom Green and Jean van der Westhuyzen were the first ones to secure their provisional nomination to the team this week with Green once again one of the stand-out paddlers of the championships.

The 20-year old backed up his winning series from the first round of selections at the Oceania Champs and Canoe Sprint GP2 in February (14 – 16 February) and took home the win in the men’s K1 1000 and K1 500 at nationals, locking in his provisional spot for his first ever Olympic Games.

“That was the goal to come and replicate what I did at Oceania and I just wanted to do whatever I can and leave no stone unturned. I did my best but it all hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Green said.

Van der Westhuyzen & Green – JGRImages

Together with his K2 partner Jean van der Westhuyzen, Green also put in a second place in the men’s K2 1000 on his scorecard at nationals after the pair won the event at the Oceania Champs. With van der Westhuyzen also finishing second in the men’s K1 500 and 1000 behind Green, his provisional Tokyo ticket was locked in as well.

“It really hasn’t sunk in. I think it will in the next couple of days but it’s a childhood dream come true for me. Also, the next phase of training is coming up and we will put in a lot of hard work to ensure we get the best results at the Olympics. I’m super, super excited but I’m also excited for the hard work that comes now in the second phase of training,” van der Westhuyzen said.

In addition, to the two Games debutantes, Rio Olympians Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood locked in their provisional nomination for their second Games when they took out the win in the men’s K2 1000 this week and on Sunday backed it up in a race-off between Green and Westhuyzen.

Wood & Fitzsimmons – JGRImages

They also wrapped up a successful week of racing with a win in the K4 500 together with dual Olympian and Olympic champion Murray Stewart and Rio Olympic bronze medallist Lachlan Tame, with the latter two yet to find out if they will be the ones to take up the remaining two spots on the team.

“It’s now all up to the selector’s discretion. Jordan and Riley are provisionally selected already and for Lachie and I it was about putting our best race out there to give the selectors every chance to make that decision. It’s been a tough week of racing and there are a lot of positive signs for Australia going forward and it was nice to come away with the final win,” Murray Stewart said about the significance of the K4 race.

Wood, Stewart, Tame, Fitzsimmons – JGRImages

In the selection relevant races at nationals, Murray Stewart finished fourth in the K1 500 and fifth in the K1 1000 with Tame and Stewart adding a third place in the K2 1000 to their scorecard.

“Like Muzz (Murray Stewart) said, these guys (Fitzsimmons & Wood) got the “P”, they are provisional and Muzz and I still need to get that and it will be 48hrs before we find out. We put our best performances out there this weekend and to get a win in that last race was nice. We dream to do the K4 together at the Olympics but there are a fair few more strokes to happen between now and Tokyo so hopefully we put our foot on the line, but it’s all up to the selectors,” Lachlan Tame said about the process.

Stewart, Wood, Tame, Fitzsimmons – Photo JGRImages

While Tame and Murray still have to wait to find out about the final selection results, Fitzsimmons is already one step ahead and thinking about Tokyo.

“You always have Tokyo on your mind in the Olympic year. You sit on the line and you visualise Tokyo. I was using every race this weekend as that training visualisation and imagined what the race would be like. You can prepare all your life but anything can happen in an Olympic final, heat or semi, but we need to get ourselves there and wait and see what the team looks like and then get some momentum towards Tokyo,” Fitzsimmons said.

“You don’t go to the Games to participate. You go there to push it and to perform there and that’s what our goal is and I’m just really, really excited about that. I don’t like leaving anything to chance and I’m looking forward to the next part of the season to really push it. I think we’ve got a great team and can’t wait to work with every one of them once it is all finalised,” Wood agreed.

And in regards to their selection battle with Green and van der Westhuyzen this year, Fitzsimmons added,

“Tom and Jean have been pushing us all year, same with Lachie and Murray and the pressure really has been on. It’s been great to bounce back and get ourselves back on to that top step of the podium domestically and to make that second Olympics together is amazing.”

Olympic Events – Women
In the women’s kayaking events, the first provisional nominations were already locked in earlier in the week when Alyce Wood and Alyssa Bull took home the second win of the trials series in the women’s K2 500, after also winning the event at Oceania Champs. The pair backed up their strong performance in the K2 with a win in the K1 500 for Wood and a third place for Bull at nationals.

Wood & Bull – JGRImages

“It’s a massive relief to come away with the win in the K1 and the K2 and we will now go back and figure out where we need to improve leading into world cups and Olympics later on in the year. We are definitely happy to have that box ticked and secure those places and are really excited to see the what the rest of the team is made up of. The girls pushed really hard this season and the results have been close and it’s anyone’s game,” Wood said about three of the places yet to be decided by the selectors.

“It’s been great racing the K2, it’s dead set my favorite event. I love racing and to do it with your best mate as well, there’s not better feeling and it is very exciting to be provisionally nominated. It’s a load off, we can relax a little bit now and it will be exciting to see what the rest of the team is going to look like,” Bull added.

London Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones secured her provisional nomination to the team on Saturday, after finishing second in the women’s K1 500. She had a strong regatta which saw her winning the women’s K1 and K2 200 and finishing second in the women’s K2 500.

WK1 500 Final: 1. Wood, 2. Brigden-Jones, 3. Bull

“I’m really happy how my national championships penned out. I had some great races in the K1 and in the main selection race, in the K1 500, I finished second which gave me automatic provisional selection to the Olympic team. I did the 200 and did a PB and cracked the 40 seconds (0:39.82), so I’m part of the 39 seconds club now and I had a good race with Jaime (Roberts) in both the K2 500 and 200. So it’s been a really good week,” Brigden-Jones recapped her week.

“It’s obviously been a long build-up and a lot of anticipation coming into the final Olympic selection trial and it’s pretty cool that I did it. It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to the next few months so we can actually put some plans into solid cement and get working towards Tokyo. Tokyo will be my second Olympic Games, which is pretty awesome and it definitely hasn’t sunk in yet. And now that it hopefully will become official next week when we get the official tick of the box, it will be very exciting and I’m very proud of myself,” Brigden-Jones said about provisional Olympic selection to her second Games.

Brigden-Jones – JGRImages

In the women’s K1 on Saturday, South Australian Cat McArthur finished fourth ahead of Western Australians Shannon Reynolds and Jaime Roberts in fifth and sixth respectively.

In addition to the women’s kayaking events, also the women’s canoeing nominations are yet to be decided as well with South Australian Sports Institute’s paddlers Bernadette Wallace and Josephine Bulmer taking home the wins in the women’s C1 and C2 500 this week and with International Performance Standards as well as selections on the line.

Other Events
Highlight on the final day of competition were the state vs state races with New South Wales taking home the win in all four events, including the 18 and under men’s and women’s K4 as well as the Open men’s and women’s events.

Beere, Harlen, Sinclair, Brigden-Jones – JGRImages

NSW won the open women’s K4 in the combination Jo Brigden-Jones, Ella Beere, Kailey Harlen and Georgia Sinclair ahead of Queensland’s combination of Alyssa Bull, Brianna Massie, Alyce Wood and Mackenzie Duffy in second. South Australia finished third.

Riley Fitzsimmons, Lachlan Tame, Murray Stewart and Jakob Hammond were the winning combination for NSW in the open men’s race and won by +0.35 seconds ahead of Queensland’s Jean van der Westhuyzen, Bill Bain, Tom Green and Jordan Wood. Western Australia finished third.

Hammond, Stewart, Tame, Fitzsimmons – JGRImages

“The men have been undefeated in the state vs state and us girls have won two years in a row now so it’s been pretty exciting and we’ve pushed each other over the line. State vs State is definitely a bit more relaxed than other races with a bit of banter on the start line to see who is the premier state at kayaking and it’s pretty cool to win our last national championships with the good squad of NSW,” team captain Jo Brigden-Jones said after the race, hinting to her retirement after the Games – a sentiment echoed by men’s team captain Murray Stewart.

“It might be a co-ed team next year, there are a lot of retirees at this regatta and there might be a rebuild next year. We do have to thank NSWIS for the support that they have been giving us. Lachie, Jo and I probably won’t have another nationals next year for canoe sprint and NSWIS have given us so much. It’s hard to put into words how much we owe them and it’s great to win this race,” Stewart added dedicating the win to the New South Wales Institute of Sport.

The 2020 Paddle Australia Canoe Sprint Championships also doubled up as the selection event for U23, Junior, Asia Pacific and Olympic Hopes team with exciting performances on display across the week by Australia’s up and coming paddle talent with Junior and U23 teams expected to be announced over the next couple of weeks and with some of the strongest junior paddlers also taking out the state vs state events.

New South Wales paddlers Fletcher Armstrong, Jarrah Sheppard, Toby Schooley and Bailey Connolly won the under 18 men’s K4 500 state vs state race in a photo finish of +0.04 with Western Australia, while Alisa van der Kwartel, Riley Clarke, Sascha Taurins and Jasmine Locke won the under 18 women’s K4 500.

U18 MK4 500 State vs State – JGRImages

In other under 18 women’s events, Queensland’s Jenaya Massie, Phoebe Wills-Grace and Chaise Richardson and Illawarra paddler Jasmine Locke (NSW) wrapped up a successful regatta taking home the win in the women’s K4 500 and 200 on Sunday.

“We jumped into the boat, from the Senior men’s crew so the boat was a bit large, but we got it down and took out the win,” Massie said.

“We all had some really close races in the 200 and 500 and the 1000 so it’s been really good to all join together in the team boats and use our strengths,” Massie added.

Jenaya Massie took out the win in the women’s K1 1000 as well as in the women’s K2 200 together Phoebe Wills-Grace with the pair finishing second in the women’s K2 500 after winning the event at Oceania Champs with Sydney Northern Beaches paddlers Alisa van der Kwartel and Sascha Taurins winning the K2 500 at nationals. Massie also came second in the K1 500 which was won by up and coming canoe sprint paddler Jasmine Locke.

U18 WK4 500 – JGRImages

“We all had a pretty good regatta. We all played to our strength and it’s been great to be able to bond so well in the K4s. It’s great to get a race with such lovely girls and then jump into the K4 and paddle with them as well,” Locke said after the K4 wins.

“I really do love this sport. I like it better than surf, I like it flat and smooth, no wind, you don’t fall out and I love the community with the girls,” Locke added who only recently started racing in canoe sprint after coming across from surf.

Sydney Northern Beaches’ under 14 paddler Michael Dunbar was recognised with the Raj Award, which is awarded to a junior paddler displaying sportsmanship, respect, courtesy and achievement. Dunbar had a successful regatta winning amongst others the MK1 200, 500, 1000 events as well as the MK2 500 and 1000 together with Alexander Raikuna.

Paralympic selection already wrapped up on Thursday with Rio Olympians Curtis McGrath, Dylan Littlehales, Amanda Reynolds and Susan Seipel all securing provisional nomination and with teams expected to be announced over the next couple of weeks.

See media release here: ‪https://paddle.org.au/2020/03/12/olympians-and-paralympians-provisionally-secure-first-tokyo-2020-tickets-at-2020-canoe-sprint-champs/

SELECTED RESULTS:
See all results here:
http://bit.ly/2020PASprintChampsResults

Sunday, 15 March 2020
Mens K4 500m 
1st       Tame, Lachlan | Fitzsimmons, Riley | Stewart, Murray | Wood, Jordan
1:21.50            0.00
2nd      Goble, Matt | Phillips, Jesse | Green, Tom | van der Westhuyzen, Jean
1:21.94            0.44     +0.44
3rd       Kippin, Josh | Bain, Bill | Pond, Nick | Armstrong, Lachlan
1:26.16            4.22     +4.66

Interstate Events
Womens Open K4 500m State v State – Helen Brownlee Cup 
1st       NSW: Brigden-Jones, Jo | Beere, Ella | Harlen, Kailey | Sinclair, Georgia
1:33.70            0.00
2nd      QLD: Bull, Aly | Massie, Brianna | Wood, Alyce | Duffy, Mackenzie
1:34.21            0.51     +0.51
3rd       SA: McArthur, Cat | Kidd, Francesca | Webber, Caitlin | Wallace, Bernadette
1:42.30            8.09     +8.60

Mens Open K4 500m State v State – Dennis Green Cup 
1st       NSW: Fitzsimmons, Riley | Tame, Lachlan | Stewart, Murray | Hammond, Jakob
1:21.57            0.00
2nd      QLD: van der Westhuyzen, Jean | Bain, Bill | Green, Tom | Wood, Jordan
1:21.92            0.35     +0.35
3rd       WA: Phillips, Jesse | Kippin, Josh | Armstrong, Lachlan | Greed, Nicholas
1:27.63            5.71     +6.06

Womens K4 500m 18 & Under State v State
1st       NSW: van der Kwartel, Alisa  | Clarke, Riley | Taurins, Sascha | Locke, Jasmine
1:43.23                       0.00
2nd      QLD” Wills-Grace, Phoebe | Massie, Jenaya | Richardson, Chaise |Lund, Ava
1:45.29            2.06     +2.06
3rd       WA: Alexis, Harriette | Disselkoen, Eleanor | Good-Gerne, Angelina | Brown, Harriet
1:46.97            1.68     +3.74

Mens K4 500m 18& Under State v State
1st       NSW: Armstrong, Fletcher | Sheppard, Jarrah | Schooley, Toby | Connolly, Bailey
1:31.04                       0.00
2nd      WA: Egger, Luke | Hyde, Tim | Boldy, Noah | Alderson, Jeremy
1:31.08            0.04     +0.04
3rd       SA: Spencer, Will | Mackenzie, Elliot |Tucker, Oliver | Ralph, Samuel
1:32.97            1.89     +1.93

CLUB AWARD

  1. Sydney Northern Beaches, NSW
  2. West Lakes Canoe Club, SA
  3. Avoca Kayak Club, NSW

Saturday, 14 March 2020
Men’s K1 500 
1st       Green, Tom                            1:40.47
2nd      van der Westhuyzen, Jean     1:40.69            0.22     +0.22
3rd       Wood, Jordan                        1:41.13            0.44     +0.66
4th       Stewart, Murray                      1:42.16            1.03     +1.69
5th       Tame, Lachlan                        1:42.84            0.68     +2.37
6th       Phillips, Jesse                         1:42.89            0.05     +2.42
7th       Goble, Matt                             1:44.86            1.97     +4.39
8th       Fitzsimmons, Riley                 1:46.30            1.44     +5.83
9th       Bain, Bill                                  1:48.71            2.41     +8.24

MK1 500 Podium: van der Westhuyen – Green – Wood

Women’s K1 500
1st       Wood, Alyce               1:53.88            0.00
2nd      Brigden-Jones, Jo      1:54.39            0.51     +0.51
3rd       Bull, Aly                       1:54.89            0.50     +1.01
4th       McArthur, Cat             1:57.23            2.34     +3.35
5th       Reynolds, Shannon    1:58.71            1.48     +4.83
6th       Roberts, Jaime           1:59.07            0.36     +5.19
7th       Steinepreis, Yale        1:59.43            0.36     +5.55
8th       Harlen, Kailey             1:59.92            0.49     +6.04
9th       Beere, Ella                  2:00.78            0.86     +6.90

Women’s K1 500 Podium: Brigden-Jones, Wood, Bull

Friday, 13 March 2020
Men’s K2 1000
1st       Fitzsimmons, Riley | Wood, Jordan               3:12.04            0.00
2nd      van der Westhuyzen, Jean | Green, Tom      3:13.09            1.05     +1.05
3rd       Tame, Lachlan | Stewart, Murray                   3:15.20            2.11     +3.16
4th       Phillips, Jesse | Kippin, Josh 1990                3:18.51            3.31     +6.47
5th       Bain, Bill | Norton, Tom                                  3:20.74            2.23     +8.70
6th       Dutton, Logan | Armstrong, Lachlan             3:22.06            1.32     +10.02
7th       Kither, Chris                                                    3:25.02            2.96     +12.98
8th       Kucharski, Daniel | Kneebone-Ellis, Jesse    3:26.19            1.17     +14.15
9th       Jones, Oscar | Hughes, Thomas                    3:30.18            3.99     +18.14

Thursday 12 March 2020
Women’s K2 500
1st       Bull, Aly | Wood, Alyce                       1:42.04            0.00
2nd      Roberts, Jaime | Brigden-Jones, Jo   1:43.88            1.84     +1.84
3rd       McArthur, Cat | Massie, Brianna        1:44.70            0.82     +2.66
4th       Beere, Ella | Harlen, Kailey                1:46.22            1.52     +4.18
5th       Reynolds, Shannon | Steinepreis, Yale 1:46.28        0.06     +4.24
6th       Kidd, Francesca | Webber, Caitlin      1:49.94            3.66     +7.90
7th       Smith, Jemma | Sinclair, Georgia      1:51.69            1.75     +9.65
8th       Duffy, Mackenzie | Clarke, Alexandra 1:51.77           0.08     +9.73
9th       Ray, Yasemin | Dober, Keily              1:57.70           5.93     +15.66

Men’s K1 1000
1st       Green, Tom                            3:36.15            0.00
2nd      van der Westhuyzen, Jean     3:37.25            1.10     +1.10
3rd       Wood, Jordan                         3:37.54            0.29     +1.39
4th       Fitzsimmons, Riley                 3:38.78            1.24     +2.63
5th       Stewart, Murray                      3:42.54            3.76     +6.39
6th       Collins, Jackson                      3:43.94            1.40     +7.79
7th       Kippin, Josh                            3:44.33            0.39     +8.18
8th       Wallace, Kenny                       3:49.18            4.85     +13.03
9th       Bain, Bill                                  3:56.99            7.81     +20.84