Stewart upsets Wallace

Submitted by admin on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 01:00
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Australia’s young generation of paddlers stole the limelight on the final day of GP2 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith.

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Australia’s young generation of paddlers stole the limelight on the final day of GP2 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre, Penrith.

Manly paddler Murray Stewart produced a stunning upset to defeat Olympic champion Ken Wallace in the final of the men’s K1 500m.

Stewart, 22, led the field out with a strong first 250 metres of the race and held off the fast finishing Wallace to win by just over a boat length in a time of 1:42.75. Jacob Clear finished in third position.

Stewart, who is considered an outstanding young prospect, will be aiming to compete in his first senior World Championships in 2009, but first must negotiate the selection trials which will be held as part of the national championships in Perth, 11-15 March.

On Saturday Wallace and Erin Taylor won the men’s and women’s K1 1000m finals. Wallace finished in a time of 3:40.50, a clear two and a half boat lengths ahead of Belgian paddler Bob Maesen, while Stewart claimed third position.

In more promising signs for the future of Australian flatwater kayaking, Jacob Clear and Stewart produced a superb paddle to claim the final of the men’s K2 1000m on Sunday. Following on from their K2 500m win on Saturday.

Clear, who was part of the men’s K4 1000m at the Beijing Olympic Games, combined with young gun Stewart to put a large margin between themselves and the rest of the field, winning by over three boat lengths.

They finished in a time of 3:21.11, with Wallace and Bob Maesen crossing the line in second place, and Luke and Jake Michael one place further back.

Jo Brigden-Jones took out the ladies K1 500m final ahead of Hannah Davis and Kiwi Erin Taylor. Brigden-Jones set the pace early and remained unchallenged in the closing stages to finish comfortably ahead of the field in a time of 1:51.74.

Alana Nicholls and Lisa Russ stormed to victory in the final of the women’s K2 500m, leading from start to finish. The two West Australians combined well to complete the course in a time of 1:49.45 and finish a boat length clear of Brigden-Jones and Davis, with the New Zealand combination of Lisa Carrington and Jaimee Lovett claiming third place.

Dave Polglase
Australian Canoeing

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