K4 crew of Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart & Jacob Clear
The biggest event on the International Canoe Federation (ICF) calendar commences this Wednesday when the Australian Canoe sprint team hits the water in Duisburg, Germany for the ICF World Championships.
850 athletes from 75 nations will battle it out for world champion status over five days of racing with the field including 19 London Olympic gold medallists.
The Paracanoe World Championship will get the program underway on Wednesday, with the senior canoe sprint competition to be contested from Thursday till Sunday.
Australia will field a 23 person strong team which will be headlined by London Olympic K4 1000 gold medallists Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear.
The Olympic quad have had a solid preparation in Szolnok, Hungary and will be determined to complete the double and take out the World Championships crown a year after their success in London.
Their main rivals will come from host nation Germany, Belarus, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
Stewart and Clear will also contest the men’s K2 1000 event after a strong performance at Nationals in Perth earlier in the year.
2008 Beijing K1 500 gold medallist Ken Wallace has returned to career best form this year and will be one to follow closely in the men’s K1 1000, K1 500 and K1 5000 events.
The 29 year old was one of only four paddlers that contested this year’s World Cup series, winning three gold medals, a silver and a bronze.
The other three paddlers that competed alongside Wallace were younger sister Bernadette, Ironwoman star Naomi Flood and Lachlan Tame, who is amongst an exciting group of emerging athletes who will make their debuts in Germany.
Wallace and Flood had a successful World Cup series combining to win two gold and a silver and will contest the K2 500 at Worlds.
The pair will also contest the K4 500 in a newly formed crew alongside Bayswater star Alana Nicholls and mainstay Hannah Davis.
“My expectations for myself for Worlds are pretty simple. Do the job, deliver the goods. I'm more focused on the process than the outcome, anything I do at these Worlds is going to be a PB for me, and so I just really want to see how far I can push it”, said Wallace.
“I know that my crews are capable of competitive World class results, all we have to do is stick to the processes we practise at training every day.”
“I want the World to turn their heads and have a good look at the quality in Australian Women's kayaking.”
Nicholls will also contest the coveted women’s K1 500 and will be eager to avenge for last year’s result at the 2012 Olympics with a strong performance in Germany.
Fellow Western Australian’s Stephen Bird and Jesse Phillips will compete in the K2 200.
The duo made their Olympic debuts in London last year producing a career best result finishing sixth in the final and are determined to build on that result and push for an A final at Worlds.
“I am aiming to execute a great race, and I believe a great race for us would put us in the A Final mix”, said Phillips.
Bird and Phillips will be joined by Lachlan Tame and Brodie Holmes to contest the K1 200 relay.
Tame will also contest the men’s K1 200 event.
“My preparations for words have been going great over in Italy! The support from the coaches and staff has been awesome and I have been doing a few PBs in the gym and on the water”, said Tame.
“I would be stoked if I could finish mid B final at my first world champs in an Olympic K1 distance.”
Coffs Harbour’s Marius Florian will be Australia’s only representative in the canoeing boat with Olympic trio Jake Donaghey, Alex Haas and Sebastian Marczak taking 2013 off.
Florian will contest the men’s C1 1000 and C1 5000 events.
The squad has a look of old and new about it with several big name U23 athletes getting their first chances to show what they can do at a senior international competition.
Exciting teenage pair Bill Bain and Jordon Wood are determined to show that can match it with the senior guys over the comings years and will gain the invaluable experience when they line up in the non-Olympic K2 500 event.
21 year old Sunshine Coast athlete Alyce Burnett recently had a standout U23 World Championships finishing fourth in the K1 500 and sixth in the K1 200 finals.
Burnett will team up with fellow U23 athlete Amy Peters in the K2 1000 and K2 200 events.
Burnett will also contest the gruelling women’s K1 5000.
“I am over the moon to be given three races, and can't wait to see how we go”, said Burnett.
“The K2 is feeling really smooth at the moment, and my K1 has definitely lifted a notch in the last week.”
The Paracanoe team are an ambitious bunch with all five members targeting a top four finish in Germany.
The team has been preparing at the European Training Centre in Varese, Italy and are looking forward to competing in Duisburg for the first time.
“I have not competed in Duisburg before. Szeged 2011 was a tough one to top but I am excited about competing at a much higher level as the competition is becoming more and more competitive within the Paracanoe events”, said Trunk and Arms athlete Glenn Pyne.
“Everyone's times have been dropping and the racing will be a lot closer than it has been in past years. Should be a lot of fun!”
Pyne will contest the TA (trunk and arms) K1 200 and V1 200 events on Wednesday.
Reigning 2012 and 2011 Australian Paracanoeists of the year Kara Kennedy and Brock Ingram will lead the team alongside Pyne, with all three very experienced paddlers.
Kennedy will contest two events in A (arms only) category, while Ingram will compete in the LTA (leg, trunk and arms) K1 200.
Victorian Amanda Drennan and Penrith’s Colin Sieders will make their World Championships debut.
In a remarkable feat Sieders has only been paddling for just under a year after coming from a motor racing career in V8 supercars.
He will contest the A K1 200, while Drennan will line up in the LTA K1 200.
The Paracanoe program will kick start the ICF World Championships program on Wednesday from 5:30pm AUS EST (9:30am local time).
Please refer to links below for full schedule and important information.
Men: Tate Smith (QLD), David Smith (NSW), Murray Stewart (NSW), Jacob Clear (QLD), Ken Wallace (QLD), Stephen Bird (WA), Jesse Phillips (WA), Lachlan Tame (NSW), Marius Florian (NSW), William Bain (QLD), Jordon Wood (QLD) and Brodie Holmes (WA).
Women: Alana Nicholls (WA), Bernadette Wallace (QLD), Naomi Flood (NSW), Hannah Davis (SA), Alyce Burnett (QLD) and Amy Peters (NSW).
Paracanoe: Brock Ingram (WA), Kara Kennedy (QLD), Colin Sieders (NSW), Glenn Pyne (QLD) and Amanda Drennan (VIC).
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