Cat McArthur, Shannon Reynolds, Rebecca Mann & Alyssa Bull
The Australian senior and junior women combined to win a total of four gold medals on the opening day of racing at the Auronzo International Regatta in Italy overnight.
Naomi Flood and Bernadette Wallace demonstrated their class in the senior women’s ranks to win Australia’s first two medals. They produced a one-two finish in the K1 1000 women’s final.
Flood won the gold in 4:07.61 to finish 3.80 seconds ahead of Wallace.
Inspired by the senior women, 17 year old South Australian Josephine Bulmer got her weekend off to an impressive start winning the junior K1 1000 final.
The West Lakes junior edged Norwegian Anna Sletsjoe by 0.07 seconds to win the gold in 4:23.49.
Australia’s golden run continued with senior paddler Catherine McArthur teaming up with Alyssa Bull, Rebecca Mann and Shannon Reynolds to win the K4 1000 W final. The girls produced a dominant display in the final crossing the line in 3:33.82, 10 seconds ahead of the next boat.
In the final race of the day Gold Coast’s Chloe Sterry combined with South Australian Francesca Kidd to win Australia’s fourth gold medal of the afternoon with victory in the junior K2 1000 final.
The pair dominated the final to finish more than 14 seconds ahead of the second placed boat from the Czech Republic.
Racing will continue on Sunday with the Australian senior, U23 and junior athletes looking to continue their excellent form building into the World Championships in the upcoming month.
Racing will get underway on Sunday from 4:30pm AEST (8:30am local time). The K1 and K2 200 semifinals will be contested initially before the 500 and 200 metre finals follow from 6pm AEST.
London Olympian Jo Brigden-Jones was happy with her opening day of racing winning her K1 200 heat and progressing directly to the final.
“I wanted to go hard in my heats. You do not learn anything from going slow and cruising through the heats so I wanted to give it some and see where I need to improve heading into the final,” Brigden-Jones said.
Brigden-Jones recalls her days as a junior and is enjoying having the younger athletes at the competition.
“It is really cool that they are here. I think it is really good for them to watch the senior girls and learn something a bit more serious about me, but that is what you have to do to improve and compete against the best in the world.”
Fellow Olympic pair Steve Bird and Jesse Phillips commenced their build up to the senior World Championships in August winning their K2 200 heat on Saturday.
They look set to fight it out with Robert McIntyre and Mark Stowe in Sunday’s final after the U23 Oceania Champions finished second in their heat.
With just 11 days until the ICF sprint Junior and U23 World Championships commence in Hungary several Australian juniors put in some encouraging performances.
Bulmer’s gold medal display followed a busy day of racing for the SASI paddler who had earlier demonstrated her ability to race across all distances and will contest in the junior K1 500, K4 500, K4 200 and potentially the K1 200 finals on Sunday.
The junior girls also displayed some K2 depth with 1000m winners Sterry and Kidd, and Brianna Massie and Rachel Duncan each progressing to the junior K2 500 final on Sunday.
From the small male contingent in Auronzo junior K2 200 pairing Sam McTigue and Nick Pond won their heat to move straight through to the final.
Please follow the links below for more information. A full wrap up of results will be published on the Australian Canoeing website on Monday.
Sunday schedule (AEST – 8hrs ahead of local Auronzo time).
4:58pm – K1 200 JNR SF 4 (Alex Graham)
5:02pm – K1 200 W JNR SF 1 (Caitlan Gilliman)
5:06pm – K1 200 W JNR SF 3 (Josie Bulmer)
5:10pm – K2 200 SF 2 (Mark Stowe/Robert McIntyre)
5:26pm – K2 200 W JNR SF (Brianna Massie/Rachel Duncan)
6:20pm – K1 500 W Final (Shannon Reynolds & Naomi Flood)
6:32pm – K1 500 W JNR Final (Josie Bulmer)
6:36pm – K2 500 Final (Phillips/Bird & Stowe/McIntyre)
6:48pm – K4 500 W Final (McArthur/Roberts/Burnett/Wallace)
7:00pm – K2 500 JNR Final (Pond/McTigue)
7:08pm – K4 500 W JNR Final (Kidd/Massie/Duncan/Bulmer)
7:20pm – K2 500 W Final (Brigden-Jones/Flood & Bull/Mann)
7:44pm – K2 500 W JNR Final (Massie/Duncan & Kidd/Sterry)
8:55pm – K1 200 W Final (Burnett, Brigden-Jones & Reynolds)
9:07pm – K2 200 Final (Jesse Phillips/Steve Bird)
9:34pm – K4 200 W Final (McArthur/Roberts/Burnett/Wallace)
9:43pm – K2 200 JNR Final (Nick Pond/Sam McTigue)
9:49pm – K4 200 W JNR Final (Kidd/Massie/Duncan/Bulmer)
10:04pm – K2 200 W Final (Brigden-Jones/Flood & Bull/Mann)
10:19pm – K2 200 W JNR Final (Kidd/Sterry & Bulmer/Gilliman)