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Flood wins race for Oly canoe berth

  • Flood wins race for Oly canoe berth

    Naomi Flood has beaten her former paddling partner Jo Bridgen-Jones at the canoe sprint world cup.

Australian kayaker Naomi Flood has booked a ticket to Rio after edging her rival Jo Brigden-Jones at the canoe sprint World Cup in Duisburg, Germany.

Flood and Brigden-Jones, who usually paddle together in the K2 500, were battling for the one remaining spot on the Australian sprint canoe Olympic team after finishing the domestic qualifying campaign locked together.

They missed qualification for the K2 500 after being beaten by Queenslanders Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett.

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Although described as a race-off, the two paddlers competed in different events, with Flood contesting the K1 500 and Brigden-Jones the K1 200.

It was decided whichever paddler finished their event in the best position would receive the nomination.

Brigden-Jones competed on Friday, but was well below her best and had to settle for the C final.

When Flood finished third in her semi-final to qualify for Sunday's A final, she also earned the right to be nominated to the Australian Olympic team.

Flood, who also competed at the London Olympics, was glad the process was over.

"It's been very physically and mentally demanding over the past six weeks, and a really awkward situation for Jo and myself to find ourselves in," the Sydney paddler said.

"We went from teammates, physically in the boat together, to racing off against each other - it's really tough and I'm just really relieved it's all over."

Brigden-Jones said she had missed an opportunity.

"I'm pretty disappointed.

"I think as an athlete you want to prove your best on race day, and this regatta I definitely didn't do my best, she said.

Away from the race-off there was also a great result for a new look Australian K4 crew. The team of Ken Wallace, Jacob Clear, Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood finished just ahead of the reigning world champions, Slovakia, to qualify directly to Sunday's final.

Australia is the defending Olympic gold medallists in the K4, but only one member of that crew, Jacob Clear, is racing this weekend.

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