The competition continued to heat up on day two of the 2023 Paddle Australia Canoe Sprint Championships in Perth.
As the temperature soared at Champion Lakes, so did the ratings of our paddlers with plenty of close races and personal best times falling.
Dual Olympian Riley Fitzsimmons won his first individual medal, bronze in the MK1 500, and enjoyed being back in the team boats with his mates.
“It’s been a big lead up to the national champs here in Perth,” Fitzsimmons said.
“It’s nice knowing that we’ve already been selected on the national team, so it’s all been about executing our race plans and what we’ve been practicing at training.
“And moving onto the next process of finding the right combinations in the K2 and K4…the ones that will qualify us at the World Championships this year,” he said.
Fitzsimmons said this regatta has also been really important for him to get in the racing rhythm ahead of his first international season since 2019.
“This season is immensely important, especially for me…I haven’t raced a World Cup since 2019,” Fitzsimmons said.
“So it’s going to be nice to head back overseas and do some international racing.
“And showing the rest of the world that I’m still here, I’m still racing and that Australia is still really competitive in the international ranks,” he said.
The afternoon concluded with the new Mixed K2 500 event, won by Aly Bull and Jackson Collins, the reigning world champions from 2022.
Bull said the Sprint Nationals are crucial for the senior national teams international season preparations.
“I love racing, it’s why we train so I’ll take any opportunity I can to come and race,” Bull said.
“We’re building towards the World Champs, so we’re here in Perth and then heading to Szeged (Hungary) for World Cup 1.
“At the World Championships this year we’ve got to qualify spots for Australia to even compete in Paris.
“So we have to perform this year to even look at next year…so it’s a big season,” she said.
The action will return to Champion Lakes tomorrow from 8am AWST.
For full results from today’s racing – click here