Ken Wallace & Lachlan Tame
Photograph:Balint Vekassy (ICF)
The fourth day of the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships has been a memorable one for Australia with Ken Wallace winning K1 gold and sharing a K2 silver with Lachlan Tame.
13 is meant to be an unlucky number but not for Wallace who saved the best for last on day four winning gold in the K1 5000 final.
At his 13th World Championships Wallace defended his 2013 title in what was a gruelling affair.
Four paddlers, Wallace, German Max Hoff, Frenchman Cyrille Carre and Marko Tomicevic of Serbia tussled for the lead before Wallace made a winning move attacking at the start of the last lap and powered home in the closing stages.
The Currumbin Creek star won in 20:12.981 to finish 1.023 seconds ahead of Hoff with Frenchman Carre half a second further back in third.
“It means a lot to me, it is a very tough race,” Wallace said.
The victory makes it seven out the last eight international K1 5000 races that Wallace has won.
The victory followed a superb display of team boat paddling alongside Lachlan Tame with the pair winning silver in the K2 1000 final.
The Australian’s powered out of the start gates to lead the field through the first 250 metres. They continued to work hard through the middle 500 but were overtaken by Slovakia before holding off Serbia to win the silver medal.
The Australians finished 0.853 seconds behind the Slovakian pairing of Erik Vlcek and Juraj Tarr who won the gold in 3:08.784.
The victory was especially special for Tame in what was his first A final at a World Championships.
"It wasn't our most comfy race, but I just wanted to get real angry out there, and I did," an exhausted Tame said.
"I died really well in the last 150, I think I nearly blacked out and fell in, but we got second and that's awesome.”
Wallace knew they could do something special even before the final.
"After the heat and the semi, it almost made us a little nervous that we thought we might go alright at this," Wallace said.
"All we had to do was do what we did in the heat, and do what we did in the semi, and we'd go alright."
As for the future, with Rio just two years away?
"A bit of training and who knows what could happen," Wallace said.
Murray Stewart produced one of Australia’s fastest ever K1 1000 times and a new PB to finish a respectable fifth in the coveted K1 1000 final.
The 28 year old got off to a typically strong start to lead the field through the half way mark before tiring and Czech giant Josef Dostal made his move to produce an emphatic victory from lane nine.
Stewart finished 1.862 seconds behind Dostal who clinched the gold in 3:25.092. Bulgarian Miroslav Kirchev and Rene Holten Poulsen of Denmark filled the minor placings.
In the other finals Bernadette Wallace finished 26th in the women’s K1 5000. Her final placing was far from a true reflection of how she performed today.
Wallace put herself in a great position early on to be in contention for a medal before coming unstuck.
“I had rudder jammed up in my boat. I have seen it happen to other people before but today is my day,” Wallace said.
“I am still very happy with how the race went and I could not have put myself in a better position to medal today.”
Wallace also featured in the K4 500 B final alongside Cat McArthur, Alyce Burnett and Jaime Roberts finishing fourth.
Unfortunately Australia will not feature in any 200 metre A finals on Sunday.
Tame gave it his all in his K1 200 semifinal. However following just a 90 minute recovery period following the K2 1000 final he did incredibly well to finish seventh.
Two boats will feature in B finals after Jo Brigden-Jones finished fourth in her K1 200 semifinal and Western Australia duo Jesse Phillips and Steve Bird finished fourth in their K2 200 semifinal.
Both boats finished less than a second off securing an A final berth.
The final day of the World Championships will commence at 2:30pm AEST. Four Australian boats will be in the running for medals.
Sunday Schedule (AEST):
2:37pm – K4 M 1000 B Final (Smith/Smith/Stewart/Clear)
3:15pm – K2 M 500 B Final (Booth/Wood)
3:20pm – K1 W 500 B Final (Alana Nicholls)
4:08pm – K1 M 500 A Final (Ken Wallace)
4:47pm – K2 W 500 A Final (Brigden-Jones/Flood)
7:35pm – K1 W 200 B Final (Jo Brigden-Jones)
7:45pm – K2 M 200 B Final (Bird/Phillips)
9:00pm – K1 M 200 Relay Heat 1 (Tame/Bird/Phillips/Wood)
9:40pm – K1 W 200 Relay Heat 1 (Brigden-Jones/Nicholls/Burnett/Roberts)
11:00pm – K1 M 200 Relay Final
11: 20pm – K1 W 200 Relay Final
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