Alyssa Bull and Alyce Burnett moved to the brink of securing a place in Australia’s team for this year's Olympic Games at Rio de Janeiro after claiming victory in the women’s K2 500 metres final at the Oceania Canoe Sprint Championships in Adelaide.
Victory in the first Olympic selection trial gives the duo a clear advantage over their competition with the second selection trial due to take place at the National Sprint Championships in Perth from March 2 to 6.
Bull and Burnett were challenged by compatriots Naomi Flood and Jo Brigden-Jones in the closing 250m, but held them off by 0.92 seconds to win in 1min 47.82sec.
"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," said Burnett.
Bull added: "We have been working really hard, everyone has been working really hard so it’s hard to get a sense of what everyone else is doing, but we have been doing what we need to work on in training and it’s starting to pay off, we are starting to put in some good races.
"So that is all we can hope for, we are doing our best at the moment and we are just going to keep doing that leading into nationals."
Kenny Wallace and Lachlan Tame, another Australian pair, edged to within one win of securing Olympic nomination after winning the K2 1,000m A final.
The 2015 world silver medallists produced their trademark finish, powering home in the closing 250m to win in 3:16.63, 0.48 seconds ahead of countrymen Murray Stewart and Jacob Clear.
The under-23 world champions Riley Fitzsimmons and Jordan Wood, also of Australia, finished 1.51 seconds behind in third place.
London 2012 Olympian Steve Bird dominated the men’s K1 200m A final, helping his claims for Rio 2016 nomination.
Bird produced a time of 37.03sec to finish 0.69 seconds ahead of fellow Western Australian Brodie Holmes.
New Zealand’s Scott Bicknell finished third in 37.73.