Tasmanian National team paddlers going for national honours on home course
Australia’s aspiring Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games canoe slalom paddlers will kick-off the Olympic qualifying season at the 2019 Canoe Slalom Senior National Championships this weekend.
The National Slalom Championships will take place over the weekend (10 – 13 January) at Brady’s Lake Whitewater Course in Tasmania with close to 60 athletes from across Australia competing for National Championship honours.
18 months out from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Australia’s top canoe slalom paddlers will contest the National Championships ahead of their selection events in February when Australia’s top paddlers will take on the best of the world at the 2019 Sydney International Whitewater Festival (14 – 24 February 2019) with the event at Penrith Whitewater Stadium including the selection relevant Australian Open as well as the Oceania Championships. 2019 is the Olympic qualifying season with the 2019 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in La Seu d’Urgell, Spain to decide the national quota places for Tokyo 2020.
Paddle Australia’s canoe slalom star, dual Olympic medallist and 2018 dual World Champion Jessica Fox will be at the start line at the 2019 Sydney International Whitewater Festival in February, but will not contest this weekend’s National Championships in order to focus on training for a long international season ahead and after spending an extended period out of the boat at the end of last year following a surgery in October.
But with all other 2018 Paddle Australia national team slalom paddlers contesting the event, competition will be tight on the challenging course and local Tasmanian national team paddler Kate Eckhardt is looking forward to racing on her home course.