Stewart's kayaking double shot

Submitted by admin on Fri, 08/08/2014 - 10:27
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Stewart's kayaking double shot
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CANOE/KAYAK: He failed to do it at the London Games but Olympic kayak champion Murray Stewart aims to prove he can double up in the K1 and K4 at this week's world titles.
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CANOE/KAYAK: He failed to do it at the London Games but Olympic kayak champion Murray Stewart aims to prove he can double up in the K1 and K4 at this week's world titles.

Two years away from the Rio Olympics, Stewart says he will use the canoe sprint world championships in Moscow to lay the platform for a double shot at gold.

A vital cog in the champion K4 crew, the Manly paddler for the first time enters the blue-riband K1 1000m event as one of the favourites after an impressive World Cup season.

Stewart's gutsy close second behind world champion Max Hoff last month ensured he beat Ken Wallace, now paddling in the K2 with young gun Lachlan Tame, to the solo berth in Russia.

But he knows this weekend is as much about convincing everyone he can successfully juggle both commitments at a major international event after a virus contributed to missing the K1 final in London.

"Definitely," Stewart said. "It's two years out from the Games now, next year's a qualification year so for me this is a big challenge to try and do both at a world class level.

"And this year there's slightly less on the line than next year or the following year.

"It'll be a good learning curve to see that I can do it. I believe I can."

Stewart's K1 heats begin on Thursday evening (AEST) in Moscow while his K4 crew - including Dave Smith, Jake Clear and Tate Smith - begin their campaign on Friday.

The Olympic champions finished third at last year's world titles following a long break after London but have spent far more time in the boat in 2014.

Regular frontman Tate Smith has swapped with David Smith in a seat reshuffle as they aim to overcome Moscow's blustery conditions for a first world title.

"We're actually a little bit ahead of where we thought we'd be," Tate Smith said.

"The times we've been doing at training indicate we're going to produce something similar to 2011 and 2012, so if everything goes well on the weekend I think we'll be right up there."

Jim Morton
AAP

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