OLYMPIC DEBUTANTS: Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett made the final of the K2 500.
OLYMPIC DEBUTANTS: Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett made the final of the K2 500. Warren Lynam

Coast's paddling pair relishes debut Games experience

CANOE: Regardless of their result in the K2 500 final on Tuesday night, Sunshine Coast pair Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bull can relish their maiden Games campaign.

The duo edged through a nervy heat and a strong semi-final to reach the decider.

http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/coast-kayakers-finish-eighth-in-final-at-rio/3077966/

"For us to get our first berth at Olympic finals, at our first Olympic Games, is something that we could only dream of," Burnett said.

Bull was equally as proud of their performance in Brazil.

"It was all we could have hoped for, there are a lot of good crews out there and we're pumped to have made it into A-final," Bull said.

"That was our goal, and we've done it."

She said a good result in the big race would be "a bonus".

"We were aiming for Tokyo (Olympics in 2020), so we didn't expect to be here," she said.

For Bull, the finals appearance is quite remarkable.

She was arguably surf sport's brightest prospect - winning a round of the professional Ironwoman Series a couple of years ago - when she quit to pursue her Games aspirations.

"I was big into surf (lifesaving) but it's not an Olympic sport so that was my big driving force to turning to kayaking and it's certainly paid off, to be on the biggest stage in the world," Bull said

The duo is coached by two-time Olympic sprint kayak medallist, Anna Wood.

"Anna's experience is invaluable," Bull said.

"She has a lot of knowledge, having been to four Olympics herself, with this being her first one coaching, and we put a lot of trust in her program and it's definitely paying off."

The duo was set to compete at 10.24pm.



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