Robin Bell Targeting Third Olympics

Canoeing | Published: Mon 17 March 2008

AIS/WAIS Canoeing athlete Robin Bell has taken a giant step towards a third Olympic Games berth after finishing second in the C1 Slalom event at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium on the weekend.

Bell claimed silver with a time of 99.78s behind reigning World Champion MichalMartikan of Slovakia. More importantly however, Bell finished clear of fellow AIS/WAIS paddler Kynan Maley in fourth, to take the first points in the three round selection trials for qualification into the Australian team.

Maley is aiming for his first Olympics, but was behind the pace with a time of 103.59s and was also slower than another Slovakian Slafkovsky Alexander who finished third.

Bell who was the 2005 World Champion in C1 and last year claimed bronze at the World Championships in Brazil, needs to win one of the two remaining races to book his spot at Beijing.

A motivated Robin Bell spoke openly about his selection chances ahead of what could be his last major event before retirement.

"It was great to win the first selection event last weekend - the selection trials are always a tense time and Kynan has been paddling very well so to have the first race under my belt is a relief," Bell said.

The final round of Olympic selection trials for the Australian Canoe Kayak Slalom team will be held at the Penrith Whitewater Stadium, March 22 - 23.