Jones crowned champion

THREE of Bendigo’s most talented paddlers have returned home with a haul of 11 medals from the 2014 National Sprint Championships.

The five-day event, held in West Lakes in South Australia, saw more than 252 athletes from across the country compete.

Sean Jones, Rebecca Mann and Imogen Douglass rubbed shoulders with Australia’s best paddlers including K4 Olympic champions Tate Smith, David Smith, Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear.

At just 12-years-old Jones competed in the under-14 division.

He bagged seven medals including gold in the K1 2500m and K2 2500m with his partner Dylan Smee from Western Australia.

Jones also won silver in the K2 1000m, K2 200m and K2 500m with Smee, silver in the K4 1000m and bronze in the K1 1000m.

Jones’ coach Cameron McMullan said he was thrilled with his results.

“Sean’s performance at nationals are a result of his willingness to learn, love of training and the support of his family and friends,” he said.

“His future in the sport is bright.”

Twelve-year-old Imogen Douglass also competed in the under-14 division, she won silver in the K2 500m and K2 200m with partner Claudia Watmough from Queensland.

At this year’s event Rebecca Mann was competing in the open division for the first time.

The 18-year-old won a silver medal in the open K4 500m and K4 200m with partner Alyssa Bull.

All three of the competitors are members of the Bendigo Canoe Club.

Club president Andrew Morrall said the Bendigo team was well prepared for the event.

“The Bendigo representatives have been training hard and the results speak for themselves,” he said.

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