The West

Alana Nicholls after finishing fourth. Picture: Iain Gillespie
Alana Nicholls after finishing fourth. Picture: Iain Gillespie

WA kayaker Alana Nicholls missed her Olympic Games goal in the blink of an eye today.

The 26-year-old couldn't squeeze into a berth for the women's K1 200m gold medal round at Eton Dorney and it took a look at the photo to deny her a place in the A-final.

Nicholls finished fourth in her semifinal in 41.595secs. Portugal's Teresa Portela (third) edged Nicholls out of the final by 0.033s.

Had Nicholls finished one place higher her time would have been sufficient to make the final.

The top two in each of the three semifinal races advanced to the gold medal race as did the two fastest third placegetters.

New Zealand's world champion Lisa Carrington topped the qualifying list with 40.528s.

It was another disappointment for Nicholls following her 16th placing in the K1 500m earlier on the London 2012 program.

"It's okay I suppose, I want to be the best in the world so I have to beat the best," Nicholls said immediately after the race.

"It was pretty hard. I had two of the top three in the world in my semifinal. You'll see those two girls on the podium tomorrow. I'm putting my money on Lisa Carrington.

"It was always going to be tough, I knew that going into it. But there was nothing more I could have given to it. I was really happy with my race.

"Would have, should have, could have. It is heartbreaking but it wasn't meant to be. It is the nature of the sport and the 200s are so close."

Nicholls, mentored by WA Olympian Ramon Andersson, has made an impressive comeback to the sport after taking a 12-month break in 2010.

She finished fourth in the K1 200m at last year's world championships.

And following her results in London Nicholls has set her sights on Rio - for next year's world championships

"I'm still fresh, I'm still keen. I had a break two years ago but I'll have a few months off and get back into it," she said.

"I've got my eyes set on Rio so as long as paddling is making me happy then it is what I'll keep doing."

The West Australian

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