Olympic champion returns to Penrith

12/02/2015 by Steve Knowles

London Olympic K1 gold medalist Daniele Molmenti headlines a star studded Italian team set to show their slalom prowess at the Australian Open this week.

Molmenti arrived in Australia at the start of December last year and has spent the past two and bit months training hard.

“I decided to come to Australia for my winter preparation because in the past years it was one of the best spots where I can achieve my goals,” Molmenti said.

Molmenti won the K1 class at the Australian Open in 2009 and believes he can win it again.

“Yes I can win,” he said.

“I have done a couple of good races in the past on this course but it was always an unexpected result because in this period of the year I’m loading in training and the weight program limits my movements, so I cannot really say I am in the best form to compete.”

However, he admits the opening race of the season is a good opportunity to see where he is at compared to his rival competitors.

“Different training methods can show the potential of the athletes during the off-season and except the Australians that are in form because of the national trials, for me and the others, the race is a good point of view to see if the preparation is going in the right way or not.”

Since standing on the top tier of the podium in London, Molmenti has been thinking about making it back to back gold medals in Rio.

Molmenti is aiming to secure at place at next year’s Olympic Games later this year.

“Winning the worlds is the goal, so I can have the spot directly for Rio. It will make the things after much easier. So all I have to do is bring back my game to where it was used to be.”

The Australian Open will be held at Penrith Whitewater Stadium from 13 to 15 February.

Racing will get underway on Friday morning from 9am AEST. Please follow the links below for more information.