Tokyo bound stars Jo Brigden-Jones and Jaime Roberts headlined day two of the 2021 Paddle Australia Canoe Sprint Championships, taking out a silver and gold medal.
The pair finished second to Australian team mates Alyce Wood and Aly Bull in the WK2 500 before going on to take out the WK2 200 in the last session of the day.
Roberts, who is set to make her Olympic debut in Tokyo, is making the most of the time racing at the National Championships.
“I love racing, just because it’s fun! It’s really good to see everyone here, it’s been almost two years since we’ve seen each other,” Roberts said.
“It’s really cool to be back amongst it all, see who’s coming through the field…everyone is faster, fitter, stronger than they were last time,” she said.
With just 64 days to go, preparations are ramping up for Roberts and her K4 team mates.
“We are getting around each other, we are pushing each other in every session, racing as well as we can, doing all the little things,” Roberts said.
“We are also confident in what we’re doing and we just can’t wait to get on the line in a few months time – we’re feeling really good about Tokyo,” she said.
London Olympian Brigden-Jones echoed Roberts’, adding that they are just grateful for the opportunity to race.
“It’s crazy to think this is our last race before the Olympics – it’s great to be able to just get on the start line and give it a crack,” Brigden-Jones said.
“It’s good to be able to put things we have been working on in training into practice, and what we are doing is a lot about mental preparation as well.
“Getting yourself into the race mindset and just remembering all the little things you do – how you prepare off the water is just as important as what we do on the water,” she said.
Tom Maker from Manly Warringah took out the Under 14s Men’s K4 500 with his team mates Maximilian Mako, Jacob Mako and Mate Eles in the first race of the day, and the first junior race of the Championships.
Maker said his Nationals experience has been made even more special by being able to race alongside his Olympic and Paralympic idols.
“It’s also a great opportunity for us to be racing on the same course as the athletes who are going to the Olympics,” Maker said.
“We’ve been training every day, seven days a week for the last month or so now in the lead up to Nationals. Not always K4 though, we practice all our boats.
“The water has been colder here in Adelaide, so that’s been interesting,” he said.
The livestream will be back online tomorrow! Catch every race of day three via the Paddle Australia Facebook page – click here
For full results from day two – click here
To view the race schedule – click here