Olympics-bound pair optimistic despite virus
KAYAKING: Sunshine Coast paddlers Alyce Wood and Alyssa Bull have embraced an optimistic outlook for the Olympics in the face of the coronavirus threat, after claiming their tickets to Tokyo.
The pair, who competed together at Rio, provisionally earned their spots on the Australian Olympic team bound for Japan in July following strong performances at the Canoe Sprint Nationals, which wrapped up yesterday.
They won the K2 500 together, with Wood then going on to win the K1 500, with Bull third in that race.
“It’s a massive relief to have ticked a couple of boxes and to have your name provisionally on that spot for Tokyo,” Wood said.
“There’s a lot of pressure leading into an Olympic selection regatta and it’s nice to execute what you want and come out with a couple of wins.”
Bull was equally excited to be on the team.
“The words dual Olympian are being thrown around now which is pretty special,” she said.
“This is the stuff you dream about and it’s awesome to be able to go to two and we’re really looking forward to a really good campaign and we have high hopes for this season.
While the coronavirus continues to devastate the national and international sporting scene, the pair were remaining positive about Tokyo going ahead as scheduled laster this year.
“No not at all (concerned) and you’ll get that comment from probably everyone heading over there,” Wood said.
“It’s so far away and so much can change, in the last couple of weeks things have changed hourly so we take it day-by-day and whatever comes and happens, happens, and we can’t change anything.
“Obviously health and safety is priority and we’re trying to be as safe as we can but come July/August in Tokyo the coronavirus won’t be in the forefront that’s for sure.
“There’s always external things going on - Leading into Rio there was the Zika virus and chat about that and this is no different really, so totally business as usual.”
Bull echoed Woods thoughts on the coronavirus possible impact on Tokyo Games.
“There’s obviously lots happening in the media at the moment but all we can do is focus on the information we’ve been given and everything is still going ahead so it’s business as usual so we will be training hard until we hear otherwise.”
Both believed they could lift their efforts from Rio at Tokyo this year.
“As athletes you’re always trying to improve,” Bull said.
“We’re better than what we were four years ago so hopefully we can definitely do better, that’s the plan.”