Day two is underway at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany.
2008 Beijing K1 500 gold medallist Ken Wallace got the Australian’s and his own ambitions off to the perfect start winning his heat of the coveted men’s K1 1000.
Wallace will race the semifinal later today in what promises to be a hotly contested race.
Aided by a slight tailwind, Wallace lead front start to finish recording the fastest heat time of 3:34.16, 4.46 seconds ahead of Serbia’s Marko Tomicevic. Alexandr Yemelyanov finished third more than five seconds behind Wallace.
The 29 year old will be confident of progressing to the final after a five medal World Cup haul earlier in the year.
Other heat winners included Fabio Wyss of Switzerland, German star Max Hoff, Danish kayaker Rene Holten Poulsen and Russian Dmitri Ekimov.
“It was good to get the heat over and done with and move onto the semis this afternoon which is going to be solid”, said Wallace.
Western Australian Alana Nicholls also progressed to her semifinal after finishing third in heat five of the women’s K1 500.
Nicholls got off to a good start to be second at the half way point but slipped back to third behind Canadian Emilie Fournel and Italian Sofia Campana.
“There is a good tail wind happening which is making for some fast times”, said Nicholls.
“In that heat I was just looking to go through that race practice, semis this afternoon are going to be pretty cut-throat.”
Two members of the K4 London gold medal crew, Jacob Clear and Murray Stewart looked in ominous form cruising through to the men’s K2 1000 semifinal.
The pair go off to a solid start before opening up a boat length lead through the middle section of the race.
They lowered their stroke rate at the end to finish second behind the Portuguese boat of Emanuel Silva and Joao Ribeiro who won the heat in 3:12.74, 0.10 seconds ahead of the Australian pair.
Asked how the crew’s preparation has been Clear responded, “It has been great, our training camp at Szolnok (Hungary) was three weeks which is a little bit shorter than what we are used to but at the same time we are all glad to get out of there and come here.”
Not to be outshone by older brother Ken, Bernadette Wallace combined with Ironwoman star Naomi Flood to advance to the women’s K2 500 semifinals.
The pair finished fourth in their heat, 2.62 seconds behind Hungarian duo Katalin Kovacs and Natasa Douchev-Janics.
Making her Senior World Championships debut, Albury’s Amy Peters combined with Sunshine Coast kayaker Alyce Burnett to finish fifth in heat two of the women’s K2 1000.
Earlier Coffs Harbour canoeist Marius Florian finished sixth in heat two of the men’s C1 1000.
Florian was no match for German Sebastian Brendel who dominated the heat winning in 3:55.25. Florian finished more than 25 seconds behind Brendel.
There is still plenty of racing to come in Duisburg today with the paracanoe finals up next from 10:55pm AUS EST when Amanda Drennan tackles the leg, trunk and arms (LTA) K1 200 final.
The semifinals will then be raced for each of the morning’s heats.
The top two athletes from each semifinal and third fastest will advance in the K1 finals, while in K2 the top three boats will advance.
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