SASI stars look for a grand start to the year

Athletes from around Australia, including a strong line up from SASI, are set to hit the water in Sydney when the Canoe Sprint Grand Prix is held

PLENTY of training is about to translate into tough competition when SASI athletes take part in the Canoe Sprint Grand Prix 2 at the Sydney International Regatta Centre between February 8 and 10.

SASI has a strong mix of open, under-23 and under-18 athletes who will be looking for solid results before the national championships are held in Champion Lakes, Perth, between March 6 and 10.

SASI Kayak Coach Laurence Fletcher said the SASI team was looking good.

"Everyone's tracking really well and ready to go," Fletcher said.

"One event, the under-23 K2 1000m, is the only event on that program which is a selection for the national team and we will have Jayden Ellis and Chris Kither competing.

"Reece Bacchus also will pair with New South Wales athlete Angus Schmidt in the under-23 event.'' It is believed only the winner of the under-23 k2 1000m will be an automatic selection for the national teams. Squads which miss out on that day still can win selection at the national titles, along with the other age categories.

The rest of the SASI squad is preparing for various events. SASI's leading contender Matt Goble and Callum Dunn, Jared Lee and Owen McLeod are lining up in the open events, Bacchus, Jayden Ellis, Kither and Sean Lohse are in the under-23s, while Jesse Kneebone-Ellis and Daniel Kucharski are in the under-18 category but expected to step up to the under-23s for tougher competition.

Josephine Bulmer and Franesca Kidd will compete in the canoe events, while Bernadette Wallace, 28, joined the SASI program last year from the Gold Caost.

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