Bull nervous but ready to charge
PADDLING: Sunshine Coast’s Alyssa Bull admits there’s plenty of nerves ahead of her final chance for Tokyo selection but she’s primed to seize the opportunity.
The 24-year-old will take on the Paddle Australia Canoe Sprint Championships from Wednesday, with a solid result putting her in a highly promising spot to nail selection for her second Olympic campaign.
The championships are the second of two selection events for the Australian Olympic team.
She charged to runner-up in the K1 and won the K2 with fellow Coaster Alyce Wood in the opening stage, with another strong showing this week likely earning her a ticket to Tokyo.
While she was in a prime position and form, Bull admitted there was still some butterflies in the stomach.
“There’s always a few nerves that are in the mix and if you’re not nervous than it kind of means that you don’t care about it,” Bull said.
“So, in a way I like to embrace the nerves that come along and it’s nerves mixed with excitement – I love racing so I’m keen to get out there.”
She wasn’t getting too far ahead of herself as she aims to tick the final selection box.
“It’s hard to say with racing, you never know what’s going to happen but everyone has been training hard particularly the last few weeks to finetune everything,” she said.
“You just have to go out there with a level-head basically starting over again.
“You can’t think about the past results, they’ve been and gone.
“You can only do what you’ve put your foot on the line to do – that’s the way I think about it.”
She praised the strength of Coast paddler and good friend Wood, labelling her as the benchmark for selection speed.
“She’s paddling really well,” Bull said.
“She’s been at the forefront of all our domestic season racing this whole (Olympic) cycle so she’s definitely the one that everyone is looking at and everyone is chasing her so there’s a different kind of pressure on for her as well.
“She’s going to be hard to beat but obviously everyone is going to try and step up to the mark at the end of the day.”
Wood and Bull aren’t the only Coast talents in the mix for Tokyo selection, with Brianna Massie hovering just behind.
“Everyone out there is paddling really fast and there’s quite a few young girls that are coming up through the ranks and we have six spots so there’s a few positions up for grabs,” Bull said.
“It’d be awesome (if three Coast paddlers made the team).
The Canoe Sprint Nationals start tomorrow and runs through to Sunday.
K1 finals are set to be held on Saturday.