Perfect pair keen for maiden Games campaign
CANOE: Laid-back off the water and ultra-competitive on it, Sunshine Coasters Alyce Burnett and Alyssa Bull are the perfect crew-mates.
"It's a match made in heaven,” Burnett said.
Indeed, the duo have barely put an oar wrong since combining for the K2 500 and are now poised for a genuine tilt at a Games medal.
"It wasn't until we both moved to the high performance centre on the Gold Coast that we hopped in a boat together (last year),” Burnett said.
"But from the get-go we were comfortable and our personalities matched perfectly. The fact that we're both from the same place was just a bonus.”
Burnett, who will turn 24 at the Games, started kayaking as a teenager and has steadily forged her way through the ranks to claim an Olympics berth.
Bull was a surf sports star who won a round of the elite ironwoman series in 2013 as a 17-year-old but decided to switch to kayaking in late 2014.
"Sacrificing ironwoman racing in order to go to the Olympics was a good decision,” she said.
"I guess my breakthrough moment was making the team this year, which not a lot of people expected after not being in the sport for that long.”
The duo set a personal best of 1min40.49sec at the national championships in Perth to prove their claims for Rio and are now eager to take on the world's best.
They're expected to be in finals contention but will face stern opposition from a host of European powerhouses including Hungary, Germany and Serbia.
They won't compete until the second week of the Games.
"Just making sure we do all of the little things right is the biggest thing,” Bull said.
"When you get to the top of elite sport there isn't a lot separating the field so you have to make sure you are doing all of the one percenters right.”
Burnett added: "Our preparation has gone completely as planned.”
" No injuries, no sicknesses and no major logistical hiccups, so we certainly can't complain.”
Her boyfriend, Jordan Wood is also in the men's kayaking team and she was excited to be at an Olympics alongside him.
"It is something that only dreams are made of,” she said.