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Wallace crowned World Champion in Australia's three medal haul

1 September 2013

SUNDAY: Wallace wins K1 gold and K4 crew win bronze

Currumbin Creek kayaker Ken Wallace has gone one better than his silver medal performance in the K1 1000 final on Saturday (see below) by winning gold in the gruelling K1 5000 final today.

It was the first time Wallace had won the World Championships crown since his victory in 2010.

Wallace controlled the race from start to finish winning in 19:44.06, 2.08 seconds ahead of Argentinian Daniel Dal Bo.

British paddler Edward Rutherford held off K1 1000 World Champion Max Hoff of Germany for the bronze medal.

Asked if the K1 5000 was his favourite race Wallace responded “A lot of people would think so but no I hate it.”

“I was more nervous then, than what I was before the 1000 metre final just because things can go pear shaped so fast, you can be in the lead and then have someone crash straight into you.”

Wallace ran out of puff in the men’s K1 500 A final following the short turnaround from the 5000 metre event finishing ninth.

London Olympic K4 champions Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear won bronze in the K4 1000 A final.

The Australian quad set off at a fierce pace and lead the field through 750 metre mark, but the Russian’s managed to reel them in winning in 2:58.69, 0.68 seconds ahead of the Czech Republic with Australia holding on for bronze in 2:59.94.

Clear said he felt the Russian’s coming just after the mid-way point.

“I felt them come at about 200 to go and I said c’mon c’mon keep in time, keep in time but they just got there.”

K4 skipper Tate Smith was happy with their performance.

“We were a bit rusty in our first race and in the second one was a bit better and that was pretty much on par with what we are capable of”, he said.

“Our goal is just to stay near the front, keep working as hard as we can and not too far from the winners and obviously keep building on this each year.”

The women’s quad of Hannah Davis, Alana Nicholls, Naomi Flood and Bernadette Wallace finished seventh in K4 500 final.

The newly formed crew showed encouraging signs for the future to make the A final at their first World Championships paddling together.

Western Australian duo Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips bounced back from a disappointing semifinal performance to take out the men’s K2 200 B final.

The Olympic pair won in a personal best time of 32.09, 0.11 seconds ahead of Slovakian duo Miroslav Zatko and Lubomir Beno.

Their time would have been good enough for sixth in the A final.

“It was disappointing yesterday, we didn’t execute a good race”, said Phillips.

“This race is the second race for us this year at an international level and we had to come out today and prove what we are worth this year and we knew we were better than yesterday.”

“It is really comforting to know that we beat some very solid crews in the B final and we know we have got more over the next three years leading into Rio.”

Sunshine Coast kayaker Alyce Burnett had a busy day of racing firstly finishing tenth in the women’s K1 5000 final before backing up in the ladies K2 200 B final alongside fellow U23 athlete Amy Peters.

The duo finished ninth, 2.08 seconds behind the Ukraine boat containing Inna Hryshchun and Anastasiia Todorova.

Competing at his first World Championships Lachlan Tame achieved his pre-race goal of a mid B final result in a K1 event when he finished seventh in the men’s K1 200 B final.

The Avoca Beach product finished 0.60 seconds behind Hungarian Sandor Totka who produced the fastest time of 35.29.

Teenager pairing Bill Bain and Jordan Wood finished eighth in the men’s K2 500 B final.  The Queensland duo have come a long way in the past 12 months and face an exciting future in the sport.

The men’s C1 5000 event commenced proceedings on the final day with Coffs Harbour canoeist Marius Florian finishing a respectable 27th.

Overall the World Championships has been a successful one for Australia with the team winning a total of three medals, one of each colour.

SATURDAY: Wallace wins coveted K1 silver

30 year old Currumbin Creek kayaker Ken Wallace has won silver in the men’s K1 1000 at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg, Germany overnight.

The 2008 Beijing K1 500 Olympic champion was at the end of the field at the half way point but showed tremendous courage fighting back from the brink to finish second in the coveted men’s event.

Wallace finished 0.44 seconds behind 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Max Hoff who won gold for Germany much to the delight of the home fans.

Hungarian paddler Bence Dombvari finished third just 0.02 seconds behind Wallace in a hard fought final.

“That was really stinging that last 250 metres”, said Wallace.

“I am stoked to get through it, I had a really slow first 500 with that head wind really getting the better of me.”

Asked what he was thinking at the half way point when he trailed Dombvari by six seconds Wallace responded, “Geez It is a long way to catch up but I am lucky enough to have that turn of speed and it is a matter of when I use it and in this case maybe 40 metres too late but then again I might not of gotten a place at all so I am pretty happy to be here in a great start to the weekend.”

The victory caps off an excellent year for Wallace after he won three gold, a silver and a bronze at the ICF World Cups earlier in the year.

Yesterday Wallace said 2013 has been a standout. “I have had the best year so far, I have had the best World Cup results that I have had in a long time and nothing beats having a little baby boy Nixon so I am just content with the year and whatever happens from now on is just a bonus.”

Wallace will look to add to his medal tally and perhaps go even one better when he contests the men’s K1 500 and K1 5000 finals on the penultimate day of this year World Championships on Sunday.

Australian Canoeing