2012 ICF World Cup 1 Preview (18-20 May)
International Canoe sprint racing is back with Australian guns Alana Nicholls and Ken Wallace set to headline a small Australian team set to do battle in the first World Cup event in Poznan, Poland, as the lead up the Olympic Games begins!
The 2012 canoe sprint ICF World Cup 1 will commence later on today from(5:30pm AUS EST) with Australia’s six man team of Ken Wallace (QLD), Jacob Clear (QLD), Alana Nicholls (WA), Steve Bird (WA), Jesse Phillips (WA) and Joel Simpson (QLD) eager to impress in their first foray of international competition for 2012.
After securing Olympic selection with victory in the men’s K2 1000 at the Oceania Championships with Murray Stewart, Beijing K1 500 gold medallist Ken Wallace will team up with fellow QAS gun Jacob Clear in the men’s K2 1000 boat in Poznan, with the pair a strong chance to contest for a place on the dias.
Alana Nicholls will have her work cut out up against reigning 200m world champ, Lisa Carrington of New Zealand and home crowd favourite Marta Walczykiewicz of Poland who took silver in Szeged over 200m last year, when she lines up in the women’s K1 200 heats on Saturday afternoon.
Nicholls spent her lead up to World Cup at the European Training Centre in Varese, Italy, and is looking forward to commencing her World Cup campaign in Poznan tomorrow.
“I am just racing the 200m so depending on the conditions my expectations of myself may change.”
“I just want to get out there and have a good race, and hopefully that means I can come away with a place on the podium.”
“These World Cups for me are about getting back into racing internationally, and getting used to the conditions and things, seeing who is racing well and who is not, and hopefully doing well.”
Fellow Western Australian’s Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips will line up in the men’s K2 200, as they begin their build up towards a maiden Olympic berth in London later this year.
“Training has gone well, we are basically just trying to get over jetlag which actually wasn’t too bad this time, but generally training has gone really well, we’ve done a fantastic boat, we’ve put a lot of hard work in and looking forward to racing,” said Bird.
The WAIS pair will compete at all three World Cups and are looking forward to the races ahead on the road to London.
“I think our goal is to really give ourselves the best chance every race of doing the best race we can because its nine races; if you look at all three world cups, that’s a lot of racing and to nail every race to your liking is going to be tough, so our preparation and build up is what we are going to be focusing on for every race,” said Bird.
Gold Coast’s Joel Simpson will be the final Australian in action this weekend when he lines up the men’s K1 200 event. Simpson will be hungry to prove his doubters wrong after narrowly missing Olympic selection with a strong performance on the Malta Regatta Course.
TV broadcasters including Eurosport will be televising several 1000m & 500m A Finals fuelling the public’s interest in Canoeing leading into London 2012.