Oceania Championships – Day 3 Wrap up – Donaghey & Haas first Australian men to win Nomination for Olympic selection
Haas & Donaghey
17 year old Brothers’ young guns Alex Haas and Jake Donaghey highlight an exciting final day of racing at the Oceania Championships at Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith, NSW, becoming the first male sprint paddlers to secure Olympic nomination.
The QAS duo won today’s C2 1000 final in impressive fashion, leading from start to finish to cross the finish line in a time of 3:46.83, more than five seconds clear of the more experienced duo of Sebastian Marczak (NSW) and Ferenc Szekszardi (WA) in a repeat of the first Olympic nomination trial, and will now be nominated for Olympic selection following back to back C2 1000 nomination trial victories.
If selected for London, the 17-year-old pair will be the youngest Australian sprint paddlers to ever compete at an Olympic level.
When asked how they felt about possible selection for the Olympics, Donaghey and Haas were quick to point out the work that has gone into achieving nomination.
“A lot of hard work has gone into it [the win] so we were pretty nervous before the race, but now that it's come off, just really excited about it,” said Donaghey.
“To cross that line knowing that we are going to be nominated felt pretty good,” added Haas.
Coach Kevin Crisp (QLD), who originally bought the duo into the sport six years ago and has been coaching them ever since, was extremely happy with their performance during the competition.
“I'm extremely proud of them; it's been a lot of hard work. It's all Australian coached and Aussie made so that makes it even better I think,” he said.
Earlier in the morning WAIS favourites Jesse Phillips and Steve Bird won the men’s K2 200 final and the battle for Olympic nomination with an impressive performance edging Queensland rivals Joel Simpson and Matt Urquhart for the win in an impressive time of 32.82.
The win puts the popular Western Australian’s in the box seat for Olympic nomination heading into the National Championships at the same venue in a fortnight.
"There's really no time to talk [to each other] or look to the side. We’ve got our race plan, we execute our race plan and we get the result that we aimed for," Phillips said.
"I think the thing we’re most chuffed about is the time we did,” he said.
“Both races were competitive times. In terms of conditions it was dead flat in the final, there was a side wind so we were very encouraged by that because it’s not only two wins that we need, it’s two wins in world class times."
NSWIS star Murray Stewart capped off his domination over 1000m, adding the men’s K2 1000 title to his string of impressive achievements this weekend, combining with Beijing gold medallist Ken Wallace to win the first nomination trial in an event as the battle for Olympic spots heats up.
The Oceania champions finished in 3:19.76, 0.49 seconds clear of the New Zealand pair of Ben Fouhy and Fred Teear, with fellow kiwis Troy Burbidge and Liam O’Loughlin 0.71 seconds further back.
“It's always good to get a win because those Kiwi blokes, they're really great athletes too,” said Wallace.
“It's the first time we have ever raced K2 1000 together but we're one from one now so it's not a bad start to our partnership,” said Wallace.
Women’s K1 200 world champion Lisa Carrington continued her hot streak of form combining with fellow New Zealander Erin Taylor to win the women’s K2 500 final in 1:45.11, half a second clear of former Ironwoman turned sprint paddler Naomi Flood and 2008 Olympic K4 bronze medallist Lyndsie Fogarty.
“We really wanted to come here and win it,” Taylor said.
“It was quite a big weekend of racing for both of us so we didn’t quite have that edge and freshness in the boat, but I think we were really happy with how we executed a really solid performance. It had a lot of heart.”
Flood and Fogarty narrowly held off the late challenge of Hannah Davis and Rachel Lovell to win the first nomination trial by a mere 0.11 seconds, setting up a mouth-watering second Olympic nomination event at the National Championships in two weeks’ time.
Flood and Fogarty were happy to secure a podium finish in only their first race together.
The duo was also impressed with the high standard of competition in the event.
“It was a close race between all three top three results so to have that in Oceania is a fantastic result,” Fogarty said.
“Any athlete, when you get out on the line, you don’t want to come second,” she said. “It's getting there.”
New Zealand’s Scott Martlaw won the men’s 500m paracanoe Oceania Championships title ahead of Bayswater paddler Brock Ingram and Nerang River’s Glenn Pyne, while Kara Kennedy won the women’s final in 2:57.60.
In the U23 events, Tasmania’s Tom Norton and Illawarra paddler Scott Smith combined to win the men’s K2 1000 final in 3:27.13, 1.32 seconds clear of South Australian duo Zac Ryan and Luke Haniford, and New Zealand duo Jasper Bats and Alex Fort.
West Lakes’ paddlers Callum Dunn and Jeremy Petho won the men’s U23 K2 500 final from Queensland’s Bill Bain and Nicholas Bolton, while Canning River canoeist Jaymee-Lee Martin and Mitta Mitta’s Amy Peters combined for victory in the women’s U23 K2 500 final.
Bain then went on, combining with fellow Sunshine Coast young gun Charlie Copeland to win the men’s U18 K2 1000 final in 3:36.65, with Kiwi paddlers Henry Ellingham and Jarrod Fitzgerald, and Ben Hill (TAS) and Sean-Charlies DeDai (SA) rounding out the placings.
Ellingham and Fitzgerald also claimed the U18 K2 200 title.
The U16 events were dominated by Sydney Northern Beaches’ paddlers Tanielle Basson and Rachel Duncan winning the women’s K2 200 and K2 500 finals, while Isaac Lawrence and Simon McTavish combined for the men’s K2 1000 win.
The action for Olympic nomination will continue in a fortnight’s time when the AC National Championships get underway at the Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith, NSW from March 14-18.