Rarely do sportspeople have to choose which national team to represent, but that could soon be the dilemma facing Maddie Batters.
Batters and Bendigo Canoe Club team-mate Kristy Packham have been selected for the senior Wildwater Sprint World Championships in Slovakia in June.
Batters is also in the junior team for the world titles in Austria in July and is a contender for the kayak sprint world championships in Canada in August, but is unlikely to go to all three events.
“Obviously Maddie would like to go, but if she gets picked in the sprint team she would have to flick a coin, no doubt,” her coach Tony Misson said.
“Maddie’s selection (in the senior wildwater team) was a bit of a surprise. We knew she’d paddled really well at nationals and she nominated for the junior team, but for her to make the senior team is a fantastic thing for such a young person.”
Batters, 17, might take a wait-and-see approach until after the national kayak sprint titles in Perth in April.
She will take good form to the meet after being in the fastest Australian boat with Tara McAleenan in the K2 200m at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival recently.
“We’re optimistic Maddie can make the sprint team, but anything can happen,” Misson said.
“She’s got eight weeks to go in training, it’s how well she copes in the next eight weeks because we’re going to step it up – but the AYOF was pretty promising.
“She got the best result in the K2 200m and that’s one of the selection events (for the worlds).”
Packham is a certain starter in Slovakia after defending her wildwater classic and sprint national titles earlier this month.
The 32-year-old competed at the world titles in France last year, continuing her remarkable comeback from a decade out of the sport.
“This is a fantastic result for Kristy, she made her first (junior) team over 10 years ago and she’s come back,” Misson said.
“Kristy’s done a fantastic job this year because the selection was much more complicated, on bigger water and on different rivers.”