Monday, June 2, 2008


Welcome to WHAB's guide to the exciting world of canoeing/kayaking. Flatwater canoeing/kayaking is like swimming in that there are lanes but totally different in that competitors are in canoes or kayaks. So I don't have to keep writing canoe/kayak we'll get canoeing out of the way. Only men canoe. Why? I don't know. Seems a bit sexist really given that canoeing must surely be not much different to kayaking. Anyway, here's a list of the events at Beijing, with their codenames;
C obviously stands for Canoe and K for Kayak Einsteins. It would take the better part of 2008 for me to go through all these events in depth so here's a selection of key points.

Australia's lane to Beijing has been hit by tidal waves with one stupid decision during the selection process. To cut a long and arduous story short, the final make-up of the men's team is still unknown. This has been fantastic preparation for our K4 team who don't yet know if they are actually on the team. Luke Michael and Clint Robinson were unavailable during the selection trials through illness/injury. The selectors used their "discretionary powers" to pick Robinson. Michael has since won his appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport. All this equals one big mess. Tensions are sure to be high and team morale low. With the rumour mill rife that Robinson has taken Michael's endless appealing personally, WHAB-bet has Robinson to win by T.K.O inside 8 rounds as the favoured betting option.

Hungary are the surprising powerhouse in the sport for both men and women going by the 2007 World Championships. Germany are also up there. Australia are not. Don't expect any miracles here people. And don't be surprised if China announce their emergence overnight and break many world records in winning nearly all the gold medals. The Beijing University of Chemical Technology has been a busy place this semester...

A bit of history to finish. The only inductee into the flatwater hall of fame is Birgit Fischer. Fischer is both the youngest and oldest Olympic champion at 18 and 42. She has eight Olympic gold medals stashed in her undie draw and would no doubt have had more but for East Germany boycotting the L.A. Olympics. Now retired for a third time she has been preparing for life after flatwater kayaking;

Birgit Fischer auditions for Circus Krone.

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