Rio 2016 Paralympians headline 2018 National Sprint Titles at Sydney International Regatta Centre 6 – 10 March 2018
Australia’s best sprint canoe paddlers hit the water at Sydney International Regatta Centre in Penrith from 6 – 10 March 2018 for Australian Canoeing’s 2018 National Sprint Championships.
The event was dominated by Australian Canoeing’s Paralympic and Olympic team paddlers, who made the most of the opportunity to secure some national titles before heading overseas in May for the international sprint season. The event was also a selection relevant regatta for the 2018 Para-canoe team, which was made public on Monday, 12 March 2018.
In the Para-canoe events, Paralympic Games Champion and dual World Champion Curtis McGrath (QLD) won the MV1 200 and 500 as well as the MK1 500 and 1000 Multi-Class events. McGrath was also part of the Open Queensland K4 that won bronze in the Interstate Event together with Joel McKitterick, Tom Green and Jordan Wood.
“It’s been pretty good so far, but I’m nursing a few injuries this season and to come away and have a couple of good races at nationals was really good,” McGrath said.
While it was nice to get some national racing in, it is the international season that is the focus as McGrath explained:
“The goals this season is definitely to go over to Europe and defend the World title I managed to get last year, which will be first and foremost. But also going over there and doing a PB would be a good achievement for myself.”
In the Para-canoe men’s K1 200 Multi-Class final Paralympian Dylan Littlehales pipped McGrath on the line with just .12 seconds separating the two. The 18-year old also came third in the men’s K2 200 together with Avoca Club mate Robert McIntyre.
“This season has been going well. I already managed to take a win over Curtis (McGrath) at Oceania Champs and again here at Nationals, a goal I’ve had over many years now, so that was a good start to the year and I’m hoping to keep it going,” Littlehales said.
Paralympic medallist and 2017 Paralympic World Champion Amanda Reynolds (VIC) won the Para-canoe Women’s K1 200, 500 and 1000 Multi-Class events with Paralympic medallist and 2017 Paralympic World Champion Susan Seipel (QLD) finishing overall second and winning her KL2 class. Seipel also won the women’s V1 200 and 500.
By Australian Canoeing