Former Sydney University Elite Athlete Program (EAP) scholarship holder Murray Stewart has qualified in four events in the men’s kayak for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Competing at the Australian Sprint Championships at Penrith at the weekend, Stewart upstaged favourite, Olympic champion Ken Wallace, to win the K1 1000m.
Stewart turned in a dominant display to win the K1 1000m final, beating Wallace into second place, by 3.54sec. The national title comes off the back of the Oceania Championships, where he won the K1 1000m, the first of the nomination trials.
The super-paddler then proceeded to win the K1 500m, K4 1000m and the KI 200m sprint to qualify for all four events he competed in.
Stewart and the selectors must now decide which events he’ll contest in London, likely two – the highly-fancied men’s K4 1000m and one other.
“I sort of counted on two (nominations),” said Stewarts coach, Tim Jacobs. “Four is a bonus. What’s good is that Murray can now pick and choose what he can do best.”
Stewart felt for the other competitors who missed out on Olympic nominations despite strong performances.
“I can relate to what it’s like to miss out on going to the Olympics because I didn’t qualify in 2008,” he said.
“I hope they’re able to bounce back because they are really good paddlers with more time in the sport.”