Nicholls powers to victory in her K1 200 semi final
ICF Poznan World Cup Poznan, Poland
Alana Nicholls storms through to the women’s K1 200 A final, while Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips show positive signs in the K2 200 after an exciting day two of racing at the Malta Regatta Course in Poznan, Poland.
26 year old Bayswater paddler Alana Nicholls has continued her great start to 2012 after winning Olympic selection in March, taking out her semi final to set up an enticing K1 200 A final berth where she will resume her rivalry with Ukraine ace Inna Klinova and local Poland favourites Marta Walczykiewicz and Karolina Naja.
Nicholls edged Finland’s Jenni Mikkonen for the semi final win in 43.32; 0.23 seconds clear of the Fin, with Great Britain’s Jess Walker more than a second back in third.
Fellow Western Australian’s Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips narrowly missed out on qualifying for the men’s K2 200 A final by 0.124 seconds after finishing fourth in their semi final. The WAIS duo crossed the line in 34.15, 0.95 seconds behind Russian pair Alexander Dyachenko and Yury Postrygay.
Despite having to settle for a B final on Sunday, the duo were pleased with their overall performance, showing that they have come a long way in the past 12 months, and that their development is on track for London.
“Our heat was executed really well and our semi final was not quite as good but we take a lot of merit from the result having beaten some pretty competitive crews, world class crews, and looking forward to executing a better race come B final tomorrow,” said Phillips.
“Where very encouraged by the results, we knocked off some crews that would have been a second a half ahead of us last year, so where very chuffed with the improvement and it a-lines with our goal of the world cup tour and that is to prepare as best we can for every race and we executed that well,” said Bird.
Asked about what they are going to tweak for the B final, Phillips responded, “I think our start is a really important part of our race and I think that will be our focus.”
“I think that will be our foundation and then the back end of our race, the last 50m holding it together with Poznan known for having very bumpy last section which requires a fair bit of stability through the back end.”
QAS sprint specialist Joel Simpson could only manage 6th in the men’s K1 200 semi final more than a second behind Ukraine semi final winner, Oleg Kharytonov.
For Simpson it was a case of blowing out the cobwebs, and the 26 year old is looking forward to improvement at the next world cup in Duisburg, Germany.
“It was pretty hard, just trying to get back into the rhythm of racing again, it wasn’t too bad, probably just spun the wheels a bit too much at the end. You can’t expect too much from the first one I suppose, but hopefully I can do better at the next one.”
Simpson will only race the Poznan and Duisburg World Cups in 2012 after narrowly missing Olympic Selection, and is grateful to have the opportunity to test himself in a world class environment.
“It’s good to have a hit out and see how I am going, you do so much work throughout the season you want to make sure that it’s worthwhile and that your improving against not just the guys that are in Australia, but overseas as well.”
Earlier in the day Gold Coast duo Ken Wallace and Jacob Clear finished 5th in the men’s K2 1000 B Final in 3:36.106, 4.47 seconds behind Canadian duo Richard Dober and Steven Jorens.
Key Australian Races: Sunday 20 May
5:12pm (R147) – Men’s K1 200 C Final (Joel Simpson - Lane 5)
5:40pm (R154) – Men’s K2 200 B Final (Steve Bird, Jesse Phillips – Lane 6)
6:13pm (R158) – Women’s K1 200 A Final (Alana Nicholls – Lane 5)
(All times AUS EST, 8hrs ahead of Poznan, Poland)
Catch all of the action on Eurosport TV with Live coverage from 6pm.
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