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Gold and two silver highlight Sprint Canoe World Cup

5 June 2017

CANOE - SPRINT: Australia has picked up a gold and two silver medals at the International Canoe Federation Sprint Canoe World Cup in Belgrade, Serbia on the weekend.

Alyssa Bull, who won silver in the K1 1000 in Szeged one week ago, cemented her reputation as the iron woman of canoe racing with a solid win in the K1 5000 final on Sunday afternoon.

While Jo Brigden-Jones joined WA’s Jaime Roberts to win silver in the K2 200, adding to the silver medal she won in the K1 1000 on Saturday.

In her first K1 1000 international race since 2009, Bridgen-Jones easily qualified for Saturdays final, alongside teammate Cat Macarthur.

In one of her rare forays into the event, she paddled to silver in the final while Macarthur finished fourth in a tough race.

“It’s quite painful, but I still like it,” Bridgen-Jones said.

“I can barely stand-up my legs are hurting so much. But it was good, a good challenge for me, good to put myself out there in a new environment.

Macarthur was happy to have shown strong improvement from one week ago.

“I’ve learned a lot from doing these 1000’s over the last few weeks,” she said.

“I really pushed myself quite hard, but I’m dead now. I’ve always struggled with 1000’s not knowing how hard to push and when.

“I’m really happy with finishing fourth. It’s hard, but I can’t be unhappy with fourth after finishing seventh last weekend.”

Brigden-Jones said it was a shock for her and Roberts to win a K2 medal on Sunday in their first international race together.

“It’s pretty crazy, I really didn’t expect it so it’s a bit of a bonus,” Brigden-Jones said.

“It was fun to do the K2 200. We’ve never done K2 together, so we’ve just been learning a bit each day.”

Roberts said the silver medal was a highlight of her career.

“We nailed our start, and it just set up the race perfectly,” she said.

“It’s caught me a bit by surprise. It’s pretty awesome to be up there on the podium, and I definitely want to be up there again.”

Before her individual gold, Bull teamed up with Olympic teammate, Alyce Burnett, to finish fourth in the K2 500, agonisingly close to a breakthrough podium at an international meet.

“Yesterday I got fourth in the K1, and today we got fourth in the K2, and both times we were super close to the medals,” Burnett said.

“It sucks to be so close, but we’ve made a lot of improvements in the past year or two and we can’t be disappointed with where we are at.

“It just puts more fire in your belly for Worlds coming up.”

“Our aim for these World Cups was to make top half of A-finals, and I suppose just to come so close, it makes us more hungry,” Bull said.

In other results, Ken Wallace finished fourth in the men’s K1 5000, Wallce and Jordan Wood finished fourth in the K2 500, the women’s K4 500 crew finished seventh, and Billy Bain was seventh in the final of the men’s K1 500.

The Australian team heads home today and will return to Europe for the Sprint Canoe World Championships in the Czech Republic in August.

Ross Solly
Australian Canoeing

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