PRESSING THEIR CLAIMS: Sunshine Coast pair Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett.
PRESSING THEIR CLAIMS: Sunshine Coast pair Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett. Balint Vekassy

Coast duo closer to claiming Rio spots

CANOE: Sunshine Coast duo Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett have pressed strong claims for berths at the Olympic Games, winning the women's K2 500 final at the Oceania Championships and second Grand Prix regatta in Adelaide today.

In the first Rio selection trial, the pair staved off a late challenge from Jo Brigden-Jones and Naomi Flood to win in 1min47.82sec.

The victory has them in the box seat ahead of the second trial to take place at the National Sprint Championships in Perth next month.

"To be one step ahead of everyone in the Olympic selection process is obviously the biggest bonus, but its lots of hard work now and in a few weeks we have to do it all again so hopefully we can replicate that," Burnett said.

They beat their nearest rivals by 0.93sec, after being edged by them by 0.03sec at the first Grand Prix in December.

"We have always just been touched out every race so to finally put it all together and come up with a win is great," Burnett said.

The under-23 world championship bronze medallists have been training on the Gold Coast.

"We have been working really hard," former elite ironwoman Bull said.

"It's starting to pay off, we are starting to put in some good races," Bull said.

"We are doing our best at the moment and we are just going to keep doing that leading into nationals."

With limited spots available in the Australian team, the competition has been fierce at training and at meets.

"As we have only got three spots for the Games everyone has been pushing hard and I think it has lifted the Australian team as whole, so whatever happens going forward, whichever girls go to the Olympics I know it will be a good showing," Burnett said.

The National Sprint Championships will be held at Champion Lakes in Perth from March 2-6

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