CANOE/KAYAK: Ken Wallace and Lachlan Tame have won gold and national selection in the K2 200 final at the National canoe sprint Championships in Penrith.
It brings an end to London Olympic pairing Jesse Phillips and Steve Bird’s reign of five consecutive national titles.
On Saturday Bird and Phillips got off to a terrific start to lead the field by a half a boat length, before Wallace and Tame powered home in the closing stages to snatch the victory in a photo finish. Wallace and Tame won in 32.76, 0.07 seconds ahead of Bird and Phillips.
Callum Dunn and Ben McLean set a new PB of 33.10 to take home the bronze medal and claim the U23 title.
After recording the fastest heat time of 33.54 yesterday they were not expecting to triumph again.
“You do not expect to win against the five-time champions so it is always hard to beat guys who are at the top of their games year in year out,” Tame said.
Tame was relatively happy with how the race unfolded.
“We probably didn’t get out the best, we had a little chat in the middle and said pick it up now and we pushed for the finish and just got over the line.”
Their winning time of 32.76 was identical to the winning time by Bird and Phillips at the first selection race at Grand Prix 2 last month.
“It is exactly what we wanted to do, if we had done a 32.77 we would have been pretty disappointed,” Wallace joked.
“That’s is exactly what we wanted to aim for and it worked out well in the end,” Wallace said.
With the two senior pairings locked on a win a piece, a third selection trial was held Sunday morning to determine which pair will earn senior selection this year. The result was extremely close with Wallace and Tame edging out Phillips and Bird by 0.05 seconds.
It must be remembered that Phillips is on his way back after shoulder surgery but you can't take anything away from Wallace and Tame who found great form as the regatta went on.
Australian Canoeing and AOC