SASI stars show paddle power at Perth nationals
14 Mar 2019
COMPETITION is over and now it is a waiting game for athletes hoping to gain selection on to Australian teams following the recent Canoe Sprint National Championships in Perth.
Five days of intense racing for the young and the elite saw selectors left with some key decisions to make soon about the composition of national teams.
SASI Kayak Coach Laurence Fletcher was pleased with the efforts of the SASI team but said the results of young stars including Daniel Kucharski and Jesse Kneebone-Ellis were probably the highlights for the team.
"The squad as a whole had some strong races but everyone was talking about how good Daniel (Kucharski) and Jesse (Kneebone-Ellis) were,'' Fletcher said.
"They were very good and Daniel won all of his K1 events and won three K2s with Jesse.
"They were aggressive and attacked each race and heat and they were still pushing to the end no matter how far in front they were. We have to wait until the selections are announced but they won all of their national selection events.''
Matt Goble also competed well, taking out the men's open K1 200m, while performing strongly in the K1 500m with a fourth placing.
Fletcher praised Goble's attitude.
"Matt hasn't had that result for a while but his approach to the regatta was outstanding and post race was very professional,'' Fletcher said.
"Reece Bacchus also had some strong individual events and showed strong signs for the future, while Callum Dunn did well.
"And we had plenty of strong results from younger athletes who are outside the SASI program.''
Other SASI athletes Josephine Bulmer and Bernadette Wallace, who are under the guidance of National Canoe Head Coach Dusan Ruzicic, look certain to qualify for national teams in the women's C2 500m. They posted a time of 2:05 which beat the benchmark of 2:08 which they needed to achieve.
Junior and national teams will be announced soon.
The teams will then head to world cups in Poznan, Poland, between May 23 and 26 and in Duisburg, Germany, between May 31 and June 2.
The junior world championhips will be a focus for some athletes in Pitesti, Romania, from August 1 to 4 and then the senior world titles in Szeged, Hungary, between August 21 and 25.
Some events will be selections/qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
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