Aussie Canoe Sprint GP2 - Brigden-Jones & Flood win K2 500
Jo Brigden-Jones has all but secured herself a place on the Australian canoe sprint team this year after she combined with Naomi Flood to win the K2 500 final at Grand Prix 2 (GP2) in Penrith today.
The victory followed a dominant performance in the K1 200 final on Friday.
“It is the first selection race and I hit it off pretty well so I am happy to make the team first up,” Brigden-Jones said.
Photo - Sprtscene
“I guess the long term plan is to race world champs in August so I guess I am building towards that and I am just hoping to make the team along the way, so to do that is good.”
Brigden-Jones and Flood were kept honest in the final with U23 Sunshine Coast pairing Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bull pushing the World Championship finalists all the way.
In the end the NSWIS pairing prevailed by just 0.21 seconds, winning in 1:45.07.
Western Australian duo Alana Nicholls and Jaime Roberts finished third.
Brigden-Jones, Flood and Nicholls raced in New Zealand last weekend.
“It was really great racing in New Zealand. The kiwi girls have all really stepped up and having Lisa (Carrington) to race against, and there was some other good K2s, it was awesome racing and getting some race fitness in and practice before this weekend,” Brigden-Jones said.
With only 531 days until the 2016 Olympic Games gets underway in Brazil, Brigden-Jones admits to having it in the back of her mind.
“You definitely have to start planning for Rio now in this season and what events you want to target and where you want to focus your training and attention on what boat,” Brigden-Jones said.
“It is always in the back of our minds and there is so many little steps to get there so I think you have to get every little step right before you can start imagining yourself in Rio.”
Asked if she has any specific events in mind she wants to target this year she responded, “I am not sure yet, but definitely K2 (500) is a focus and then I guess anything after that is a bonus.”
“We will just see how it pans out and see how the qualification spots pan out at Worlds this year.”
Brigden-Jones will contest the K1 500 and K4 500 finals on Sunday and plans to “go hard”.
“I think the K1 500 with be a tough race, everyone is paddling really well so I will work on my race plan and just go out hard. There is no time for rest.”
GP2 will get underway on Sunday morning from 8am AEST.