Canoe Sprint veteran Jo Brigden-Jones is set to compete in her 16th international season after being named in the 2019 Australian squad.
The London Olympian is back in the box seat after making a successful return to the sport.
“It’s awesome to be selected on to the Australia team for this year’s World Cups and then hopefully for the World Championships later," Brigden-Jones said.
"It’s a big, important year, so it’s really great to be part of a fantastic team who are all hungry to do really well and to push the top crews in the world.
"I’m pretty honoured that this will be my 16th year on an Australian team, which makes me feel very old, but it’s pretty cool to think that I’ve started to make Australian teams in 2004 and I’m still here and just did my 19th national championships."
Brigden-Jones spent time away from the sport after missing out on qualification for the Rio Olympics, ultimately a heartbreaking moment for the then 28-year-old.
She had been at her peak, producing personal best times and winning multiple races but wasn't able to achieve her dream of competing at a second Olympics. She thought the 2016 World Cup, would be the last time she represented Australia but life has a funny way of working.
Just five weeks after missing out on selection, she began her dream career as a paramedic. Brigden-Jones had been going back to training, she still loved paddling and wanted to keep fit but her competitive nature quickly drew her back into racing.
Despite not being able to train as much due to her fulltime job, at the 2017 National Championships, she won the K1 200m.
Now just 497 days from Tokyo 2020, she is still hoping to qualify for her second Olympics.
"Yes, I’m old, but hopefully I can bring some good experience to the team and help some people out along the way and make sure we qualify for Tokyo,” Brigden-Jones said.
The 2019 World Cup Squad will be contesting the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cups in May and June before the final World Championships Team will be confirmed.