Lawrence on the rise
CANOEIST Ros Lawrence now has reason to dream about representing Australia at the London Olympic Games next year.
That is because she rounded out an impressive 2011 by cleaning up at the national canoeing awards.
Lawrence, who grew up at Old Bonalbo, won the people's choice award (wildwater and slalom), non-Olympic award and team of the year (with Jessica Fox, Leanne Guinea and Alison Borrows in the C1 senior slalom).
The 22-year-old won the World Cup overall at C1 level this year as well as taking out wildwater sprint and slalom C1 world championships.
It has all provided much-needed confidence going into the Olympic selection trials in February where she will aim for a spot in the Australian kayaking (K1) team.
Her coach Mike Druce has backed her to make the plane for London.
"It's been an amazing season of achievements for Ros," he said.
"Winning the C1 World Cup overall was huge and shows how consistent she was in that class.
"She only just made that team last year so she has improved a lot.
"I knew she was capable of winning - we went into the World Cup knowing if she could beat the other two top Australians Jessica Fox and Leanne Guinea she'd put herself in with a good chance.
"She's definitely in the hunt for an Olympic spot."
Lawrence will now turn her attention to the K1 category in the Olympic trials at Penrith, in Sydney's west, because C1 is not yet recognised at Olympic level.
She is ranked 31st in the world in this discipline but, more importantly, second in Australia.
Only one will be selected.
"Winning and lots of race practice this year gives me a lot of confidence going into the trials," Lawrence said.
"My sister Kate, Jess Fox and Victorian Sarah Grant will be my main challengers.
"Kate and I train under different coaches but there's always friendly banter. We always ask each other 'who's going to the Olympics?'"