Ken Wallace was once again the standout performer for the Australian canoe sprint team on day three of the ICF World Championships in Duisburg, Germany overnight.
The 30 year old headed into today’s K1 500 event full of confidence having qualified for Saturday’s K1 1000 final on Thursday.
After cruising through his heat, Wallace faced a tough semifinal assignment racing against Danish star Rene Holten Poulsen and Slovakian Peter Gelle.
Wallace won the battle increasing his stroke rate over the closing 200 metres to win in 1:39.44, 0.26 seconds ahead of Holten Poulsen with Gelle half a second further back in third.
“That was a tough semifinal lining up again Rene (Holten Poulsen) and Peter Gelle so I am happy to get through that one.”
“That hurt a little more than the previous races so far this weekend, but it’s just another race and another day.”
Wallace is in a good place right now and is enjoying his kayaking this year after some mixed results over the past two years.
“I have had the best year so far, I have had the best World Cup results that I have had in a long time and nothing beats having a little baby boy Nixon so I am just content with the year and whatever happens from now on is just a bonus.”
Australia’s two K4 crews also advanced to their respective finals to be contested on Sunday.
London Olympic K4 1000 gold medallist Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear advanced to their final after finishing second behind Belarus in semifinal one.
Nothing separating the two crews at the front of the field over the first 750 metres, before the Eastern Europeans pulled away in the closing 250 winning in 2:57.74, 1.50 seconds ahead of the Olympic champions.
In just their second race together the newly formed K4 500 crew of Hannah Davis, Alana Nicholls, Bernadette Wallace and Naomi Flood finished second in their heat to set up a finals berth.
The Australian quartet finished 0.78 seconds behind Russia who won in 1:35.18.
“It is great to make an A final as that is what everyone wants to do when they get here”, said Flood.
“It was a hard one out there going into a head wind but we are all pretty strong and we were the biggest chicks out there so we handled it really well”, said Wallace.
Nicholls is now through to her second final after securing a berth in the women’s K1 500 on Thursday.
Asked what she will do between now and her K1 final she responded, “Recover, it has been a big two days got the K1 on Saturday and I am so happy to be a part of this K4 on Sunday.”
It has been a long time waiting for talented surf ski paddler Lachlan Tame who finally debuted in the men’s K1 200 heats overnight.
The Avoca Beach athlete finished third in his heat in a time of 36.15.
“I didn’t quite nail it but it was good to get the nerves out of the way first”, he said.
“I just saw the replay and I missed the start by half a length so there is a bit of improvement for the next round.”
“It is a platform to build off for the real deal tomorrow.”
London Olympic K2 200 pairing Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips have started their World Championships perfectly qualifying fastest the tomorrow morning’s semifinals.
The Western Australia duo recorded a time of 32.32 to finish 0.38 seconds ahead of Spanish pair Carlos Arevalo and Cristian Toro.
In other events, teenage pairing Jordan Wood and Bill Bain made their debuts in the men’s K2 500 event. The duo finished sixth in their semifinal in 1:35.56.
In one of the final events of the day U23 duo Alyce Burnett and Amy Peters progressed to the women’s K2 200 semifinals after a fourth place finish in their heat.
Racing continues on Saturday with the K1 1000 final featuring Ken Wallace, followed by the K2 1000 final with Jacob Clear and Murray Stewart, and the K1 500 final featuring Alana Nicholls.
Please refer to finals schedule below and links for more information.
Saturday A FINALS schedule
11:32pm – K1M 1000 Final (Ken Wallace – Lane 6)
11:46pm – K2M 1000 Final (Clear/Stewart – Lane 3)
11:56pm – K1W 500 Final (Alana Nicholls – Lane 1)
12:48am – K2W 1000 Final (Burnett/Peters – Lane 1)
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