Full paddle ahead as SASI stars win berth for Tokyo Olympic Games

Full paddle ahead as SASI stars win berth for Tokyo Olympic Games

A lifeline has been thrown to athletes, including a trio from the SA Sports Institute, with news of their selection on to the Australian team which will compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021 as part of the canoe sprint team.

Josie Bulmer

A ROLLERCOASTER ride of emotions has turned into a positive for three South Australian athletes recently selected on to the Australian canoe sprint team which will compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021.

Cat McArthur, Bernadette Wallace and Josie Bulmer received the best possible news in a world dominated by the coronavirus pandemic which has caused most sporting events throughout the world to be cancelled. But Tokyo was thrown a lifeline where it was decided the Games would be postponed and held in Tokyo somewhere in the middle of 2021.

The trio will make their debut at the Games.

For Wallace, 30 and Bulmer 23, the news means they will be the first team to compete in the inaugural women's C2 500m event at an Olympic Games. McArthur, based on the Gold Coast, also is on a high and is expected to line up with Alyssa Bull in their event.

On a personal front Wallace's battle with cancer since relocating from the Gold Coast is well known among the sporting fraternity. She still has treatment but the news of her selection was a big pick-me-up.

"It is such a relief and a relief for a lot of reasons," Wallace said.

"Josie and I have been in this uncertain area for at least a season and a half but now we are there.

"There has been a lot going on and a lot of people are going through plenty with the coronavirus and the loss of jobs but I believe we will get through this.

"I urge everyone to say positive, there is light at the end of the tunnel."

Bulmer also backed her teammate's comments.

"I'm just very relieved but very excited," Bulmer said.

"In the current climate everything's a bit surreal.

"With the Games being postponed there are positives but the best result for humanity.

"It now gives us a lot more time to be really ready."

McArthur, 27, was also relieved about her selection and said that the Games going ahead 12 months later than expected, was fine.

"We've had so much stress but to have it recognised is special," McArthur said.

"When we heard the Games could be off there was disappointment then they were postponed, then we were selected.

"This will be my first time at an Olympics and it will be exciting."

The trio is a part of a 14-person team.

Training will be held remotely for the next few months until there is more clarity about the coronavirus issue.

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