Wallace sets sights on fourth Olympics after Rio bronze

Evergreen Australian paddler, Ken Wallace, has vowed to push on for a fourth Olympic Games after pairing with Olympic debutant Lachlan Tame to win bronze in the K2 1000 on Thursday morning.

33-year-old Wallace, who won gold and bronze at the Beijing Olympics, and then finished fourth in the K2 1000 in London, said he’s in the form of his life – and while he has a lot more responsibilities at home these days, Tokyo 2020 is in his thoughts.

“I’d like to think so, I really would,” Wallace said.

“For me personally I’ve had the most successful last three years of my career, so to call it quits now I feel like I’d be cheating myself.

“But at the end of the day, what we do is so selfish, it really is. It’s so much time away from family and friends. I’d like to say that I’d be there in Tokyo, but I want to have fun and watch my kids growing up.”

Wallace has married and had two boys since the 2012 Olympics, and both were on hand to watch their dad compete on Wednesday.

While they will never remember this trip, they should be old enough in 2020 to appreciate what their dad is doing.

And Wallace loves representing his country.

“You put on the green and yellow jersey, you put on the Australian jersey this morning – to even line up and have a fighting chance to win a medal, that’s what it comes down to,” he said.

“I know they are there with me, they are going to love me win, lose or draw. I’m just stoked that they can give me a helping hand down the course.

“That’s what I was thinking about, just the boys and how lucky I am that they can share this journey with me. We’re in South America, we’re in Rio, and the boys are here with me – I mean, c’mon!”

Wallace and Tame came together as a K2 1000 combination in 2014, and subsequently won silver medals at the next two World Championships.

He said he was happy with the Olympic bronze.

“I know the rest of the Australian team, the broader Australian team, everybody’s done the best they can, and that’s all you can ever ask for,” he said.

“We were lucky enough to come away with the bronze medal here today.

“It’s the Olympic Games, so much happens. We saw in the K1, we saw some big champions fall in that race, so what more can you say. It’s the Olympics, it’s the biggest race we have.”

Wallace will race again on Friday in the Australian K4 1000 boat, hoping to defend the gold medal the boat won at London in 2012.

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