Build up to World Cup 2

So this is it, finally the decision as to which of our two best (and only two World class)men in the 1000m will be left at home will be made this weekend. In all probability the  tragedy will play itself out in the semi finals and only if we are very lucky will it come down to a head to head contest between the two . Far more likely it will limp to its conclusion in two separate semi finals with two differing levels of opposition and the “loser” will go home wondering what could have been if the draws had been different. It will be an unsatisfactory ending to one mans Olympic dream. But worse than that it must leave a lot of people wondering just what could have been had management stood up for themselves and got the men organised, not been dictated to by personal ambition and done what was best for the team instead of letting this debacle play itself out.
Whatever happens I wish both the men the best of luck, they are putting themselves on the line and have everything to play for.

In the womens events it is the K4 that holds our best chance. Rachael again goes in the K1 and it would be good to see her move up into a more reassuring position in the final than last week. The four though has everything to prove. A change in the coaching structure this winter hopefully has not destabilised the crew as they have a lot to live up to having won here last year. Luck was on their side then though and they were under the radar this time last year. Now they are one of the big names and the pressure builds. The Hungarians are back in the mix having missed WC 1 to hold their own National regatta, the Germans looked ominously strong last week and then of course there are the Russians, Belarusians and Poles to hold off. It is going to be a tough weekend. A lacklustre performance here though could be the only opportunity for those women outside the team to see any glimmer of hope of pushing their way into this crew before London. It will be mixed emotions for them watching from the sidelines!

The 200m boys have nothing to prove now. I am sure the K2 would like to put last weekends start behind them but all that really matters now is London. Their places are booked and getting to the big one uninjured and confident is really all that matters. I am sure they will come out of this weekend with more medals, a win over the French would be ideal but they know they are in the mix whatever happens this weekend.

The C1 racing sees our three best C1 paddlers in action, albeit in two separate events. James Train can stake his claim in the 1000m by taking on Matt Lawrence while Richard Jeffries tackles the 200m. Places in A finals will be scarce though and the decision as to who gets the host nation spot will ultimately rest on a decision from the selectors. It won’t be easy and whatever happens it is going to be hard to justify stealing a spot from someone who has already qualified by right.

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