18 June 2008
The South African sprint canoeing team posted its best ever international results at the Duisburg Sprint World Cup in Germany at the weekend, with Bridgitte Hartley achieving a stunning silver medal in the women’s 1 000 metres K1 A final.
Hartley provided arguably the shock of the regatta when she scorched home to finish second, sandwiched between two German world beaters Katrin Wagner-Augustin and Fredericke Leue, after being fourth at the 250m mark.
First ever World Cup medal
She kicked powerfully as she headed towards the halfway point and finished strongly to grab her first ever World Cup medal.
“I am so, so happy!” enthused Hartley after the prize-giving ceremony.
“I had two new challenges at this World Cup, the K2 with Michelle Eray and the 1000m K1, and to get a silver between two such class paddlers is very exciting!”
Shaun Rubenstein bounced back from a disappointing weekend at the season-opening regatta in Hungary to post a sixth place in the men’s 500m K1 A final, after having been in third place going through the 250 mark. He also finished a solid seventh in the 1000m K1 A final.
“I am pretty happy with my results considering where I was at last weekend!” said Rubenstein.
“I really had to focus hard to pick myself back up to perform well. I still feel that I am not at my best, but I am on my way back up,” he added.
Shortly after that Jennifer Hodson narrowly missed out on a medal in the women’s 500m K1 A final by a tenth-of-a-second when she finished fourth in a thrilling dice for the last medal with Chinese star Hongyan Zhong.
Perhaps the most encouraging result was returned by the new women’s K2 crew of Michelle Eray and Bridgitte Hartley, which was thrown together after Hartley lost her bid to dethrone Hodson from the women’s 500m K1 berth for Beijing. Despite their lack of training together, they raced superbly to make the highly competitive women’s 500m K1 A final.
C1 rising star Calvin Mokoto got as far as the 500m C1 semi-finals before bowing out of the regatta.
The squad will continue its Olympic preparations by heading for Budapest for a training camp ahead of the next World Cup regatta in Poland.
Rubenstein was also thrilled to learn that Ant Stott will join him this coming week. “I am really looking forward to having him as a training partner as he prepares for the marathon World Championships,” he said.
Women’s 1000m K1 A final
- 1. Katrin Wagner-Augustin (Ger) 3:56.401
- 2. Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 3:57.777
- 3. Friedericke Leue (Ger) 4:00.783
Men’s 1000m K1 A final
- 1. Tim Brabants (GBR) 3:28.925
- 2. Eirik Veras Larsen (Nor) 3:29.503
- 3. Adam van Koeverden (Can) 3:30.845
- 7. Shaun Rubenstein (RSA) 3:35.183
Men’s 500m K1 A final
- 1. Adam van Koeverden (Can) 1:40.329
- 2. Tim Brabants (GBR) 1:40.425
- 3. Torsten Lubisch (Ger) 1:41.107
- 6. Shaun Rubenstein (RSA) 1:42.407
Women’ 500m K1 A final
- 1. Katrin Wagner-Augustin (Ger) 1:53.987
- 2. Josefa Idem (Ita)1:54.819
- 3. Hongyan Zhong (Chn) 1:56.149
- 4. Jennifer Hodson (RSA) 1:56.277
Women’s 500m K4 A final
- 1. Germany 1:32.583
- 2. Poland 1:32.629
- 3. China 1:34.687
- 9. South Africa 1:37.669
Women’s 500m K2 A final
- 1. Germany 1:45.023
- 2. Poland 1:47.239
- 3. Australia 1:47.669
- 9. South Africa 1:52.085
Source: Canoeing South Africa