The 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships have finally arrived with racing getting underway today from 3:30pm AEST.
This year’s World Championships will see 870 of the world’s best athletes fight it out over five days of racing in Moscow, Russia.
Australia are fit and ready to race following an intensive training block and a successful World Cup series.
Leading this year’s team will be London Olympic K4 champions Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear, fellow Olympic champion Ken Wallace and NSWIS pair Jo Brigden-Jones and Naomi Flood who look set to field a deadly new K2 combination.
Australian team: Murray Stewart (NSW), Jacob Clear (QLD), Tate Smith (QLD), David Smith (QLD), Ken Wallace (QLD), Jordan Wood (QLD), Michael Booth (QLD), Lachlan Tame (NSW), Stephen Bird (WA), Brodie Holmes (WA), Jesse Phillips (WA), Jo Brigden-Jones (NSW), Naomi Flood (NSW), Alana Nicholls (WA), Alyce Burnett (QLD), Catherine McArthur (SA), Bernadette Wallace (QLD) and Jaime Roberts (WA).
The paracanoe athletes will open the programme today from 3:30pm AEST (9:30am local time).
Australia’s paracanoe team features a blend of new and old with the experienced trio of Kara Kennedy (QLD), Brock Ingram (WA) and Colin Sieders (NSW) being joined by newcomers Curtis McGrath (QLD), Amanda Reynolds (VIC) and Susan Seipel (QLD).
With paracanoe set to make its debut at the Paralympic Games in 2016 this event provides an important milestone for those athletes looking to secure themselves a place on the plane to Brazil.
Colin Sieders will be the first of the Australian paddlers to hit the water in Moscow with the K1 200 A heats to get the racing underway.
The Penrith Valley paddler will be looking to improve on his seventh place result last year.
Curtis McGrath will follow in the men’s V1 200 TA heats. Despite it being his first world championships the 26 year old is aiming to break the world record. A pretty mean feat when you consider he has been training for less than a year.
Also making their World Cup debuts will be Amanda Reynolds and Susan Seipel. Reynolds will contest the K1 200 LTA, while Seipel will line up in the K1 200 TA.
Reynolds hails from a Para Equestrian background and is looking forward to representing Australia at an international level in a second sport.
At last year’s World Championships Kara Kennedy was Australia’s top performer winning silver in the V1 200 A event. The Queenslander will be hoping to go one better this year.
Rounding out the action on day one will be Brock Ingram in the K1 200 LTA. He will be out to improve on his fifth placing in Duisburg last year.
ICF Sprint World Championship Facts and Figures (Infostrada Sports Group)
Ø Australia’s most successful athlete at the World Champs is Katrin Borchert. Borchert emigrated to Australia in February 1994. She won K2 500 m and K2 1000 m events at the 1998 World Championships in Hungary with Anna Wood and then the K-2 1000 m world title in 1999. Borchert won a total of 20 medals at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with nine gold’s for four different countries: 1989 for East Germany (3), 1990 for West Germany (1), 1991-3 for Germany (2), and 1994-2001 for Australia (3).
Ø Anna Wood won three gold and three silver over 10 Championships.
Ø Eight Aussies have won gold medals: Katrin Borchert & Anna Wood (K2 1000m 1998, ’99, K2 500m 1998), Nathan Baggaley (K1 500m 2002, ‘03, ‘05) Ken Wallace (K1 5000m 2010, ’13), Clint Robinson (K1 1000m 1994), Daniel Collins & Andrew Trim (K2 500m 1997), Martin Hunter (K1 500m 1989).
Ø The first medal was won by John Sumegi, a silver in the Men’s K1 500m at the 1979 World Championships in Duisburg, West Germany.
Ø The first gold was won by Martin Hunter, at the 1989 Worlds in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, also in the Men’s K1 500m.
Ø Ken Wallace won the last gold medal, in the men’s K5000m in 2013, after taking the same event in 2010.
Ø The most successful nation over all world championships is Hungary with 185 gold medals (185 gold, 139 silver, 121 bronze). Germany is behind them with 103-76-63 (does not include 14 West German golds). The Hungarians lead in both men and women’s tables, but East Germany still retains second place on the women’s table (38-6-7), just ahead of Germany (36-37-10). In the men’s table, Hungary leads the Soviet Union (89-56-57).
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