It was a successful weekend to commence the Canoe Sprint season with NSWIS athletes returning from the Paddle Australia Grand Prix 1 in Adelaide with a total of 15 gold, eight silver and five bronze medals.
True to form, Riley Fitzsimmons paired up with Jordan Wood to start the season strong, winning the K2 200m and K2 1000m events at the first Grand Prix held in Adelaide over the weekend.
NSWIS paddler, Ethan Neville joined Queensland’s Jackson Collins to take their first K2 500m title and later joined Tinus Koekemoer, Byron Chadwick and Fletcher Cunningham to create an all NSW K4 team in a strong performance that saw them place second.
Paracanoe athlete Dylan Littlehales showed his strength competing in the open able bodied events throughout the event, managing to make a B Final in the K1 500m event. Showing his dominance in the para class Dylan added another title in the 200m, crossing the line 0.4 seconds in front of world champion Curtis McGrath.
The NSWIS women did not disappoint with Jo Brigden- Jones showing she is recovering well following recent surgery producing a solid performance with Jamie Roberts in the K2 500m to place second. Brigden-Jones joined training partners Ella Beere and Kailey Harlen to win the K4 500m by a staggering 6.6 seconds.
After recently completing her HSC, Harlen showed she hadn’t missed a beat and will be putting her hand up for Tokyo selection in 2020 making both the K1 500 and 200 finals and claiming bronze in the K2 500m event. Beere also impressed stepping up in the K2 200m to place second behind the dominant Queenslanders.
NSWIS Talent Squad paddlers Jasmine Locke and Fletcher Armstrong led the team with some strong performances in the U18 age category. Jasmine took out the individual treble winning the women’s U18 K1 200m, 500m and 1000m whilst Fletcher repeated this feat in the U18 men’s events. Jasmine was also a member of the winning U18 K4 500m team and picked up a bronze in the K2 200m.
Fletcher teamed up with fellow NSWIS paddler Jarrah Sheppard to take out the U18 K2 200m, K2 500m and K2 1000m titles, both athletes also were a part of the U18 K4 500m winning crew.