Canoeing South Africa
15 Mar 2016
Written by: Nick Tatham
Nation’s best show off at SA Sprint Champs
Durban – Olympic star Bridgitte Hartley ticked another vital box in her
preparations for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro at the hugely
successful South African Sprint Championships held at Shongweni dam outside
Hillcrest on the weekend.
Event organiser Kim Pople was happy with the way in which the whole
championships went off.
"We were up in numbers from juniors right up to seniors this year," Pople
said. "One real positive about the event was that we had five para-paddlers
taking part in their own categories.
"The 200m Senior and Under 23 K1 races had to be decided via a camera
because they were so close."
The course had been given a positive review by Bridgitte Hartley following
the KZN Championships and her sentiments seemed to be echoed following the
"We had positive feedback from the paddlers about the course and the way the
event was run.
"The early morning times were fantastic before the prevailing head wind
slowed times slightly in the final events," a satisfied Pople added.
Hartley had to win her 500m A final in order to comprehensively secure her
spot in the South African team to Rio. She did not leave anything up to
chance in her 500m final as she won the race by just under three seconds
from Esti van Tonder in second and Kayla de Beer in third.
The 200m women’s final was a much closer affair as Hartley was pushed all
the way to the end by Van Tonder however she eventually prevailed by under
half a second.
The overall Victrix Ludorum was a one person race as Hartley out-classed the
rest of the women’s field whilst Western Cape’s Bianca Beavitt claimed the
overall silver medal with Under 23 paddler Milnerton star Melanie van
Niekerk finishing in third just two and a half points ahead of KZN marathon
talent Jenna Ward.
The racing was red-hot throughout with a number of the categories being
fiercely contested as the senior Victor Ludorum prize was fought out between
Under 23 Sprint ace Louis Hattingh and Western Province sprint star Ant
The pair battled it out over the K1 events and despite Hattingh coming up
triumphs in the 1000m and the 500m he battled in the 200m where he finished
eighth which opened the door slightly for Collopy.
The Peninsula paddler could not take advantage of the slip up from Hattingh
as the K2 races were dominated by Hattingh and partner Stuart Maclaren with
Collopy and Ben Biggs finishing in third in the 1000m and 500m K2 which
handed Hattingh the title by five points.
The junior racing was far less enthralling as Michaelhouse’s Jean van der
Westhuyzen and Donna Tutton from Epworth dominated their respective
categories as Van der Westhuyzen nearly producing a clean sweep of victories
– he missed out on victory in the 200m K1 and the 200m K2.
Despite not competing in the Junior K2 races Donna Hutton trounced the rest
of the Junior Girls fields in the K1 events as she racked up a maximum 80
points in the four K1 events whilst she made the step up to the seniors to
race the K2 events with Bridgitte Hartley.
Hutton was equally adept in the senior division where she and Hartley won
two of the three K2 races, missing out in the 1000m event where they
finished in second behind Bianca Beavitt and Melanie van Niekerk.
The top South African paddlers can now look forward to testing themselves
against the cream of the continents sprinters when the African Sprint
Championships take place at the same venue from 1 to 3 April, where the six
continental berth for the Rio showcase will be decided.
The African Sprint Championships take place at Shongweni Dam from 1-3 April.
For more information go to canoesa.org.za.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – SOUTH AFRICAN SPRINT CHAMPIONSHIPS – SHONGWENI DAM
Senior Victor Ludorum
1.Louis Hattingh (U23) 63.0
2.Anthony Collopy 58.0
3.Nicholas Weeks (U23) 45.0
4.Bryan Leroux (U23) 41.0
5.Stuart Maclaren 41.0
6.Stuart Bristow (U23) 39.0
7.Max Staats (GER) 34.0
8.Thomas Lovemore (U23) 33.0
9.Ben Biggs 28.0
10.Chrisjan Coetzee 26.0
Senior Victrix Ludorum
1.Bridgitte Hartley 101.0
2.Bianca Beavitt 65.5
3.Melanie van Niekerk (U23) 55.5
4.Jenna Ward (U23) 53.0
5.Esti van Tonder 48.0
6.Kayla de Beer (U23) 28.0
7.Kerry Segal (U23) 22.0
8.Donna Hutton (U18) 21.0
9.Julia Trodd (U23) 20.0
10.Nina Riosa (FIN) 17.0
1.Jean van der Westhuyzen 97.0
2.Jarryd Gibson 71.5
3.Mark Keeling 65.0
4.Luke Criticos 50.0
5.Alex Masina 46.0
1.Donna Hutton 80.0
2.Kyeta Purchase 62.0
3.Sabina Lawrie 61.0
4.Keegan Kieser 54.0
5.Caroline van der Linde 48.0
Click to download the hi-res
Africa Logo (GIF).
South African sprint
sweatheart Bridgitte Hartley left nothing to chance as she completed her
Rio di Janeiro Olympic qualification phase with another national
championship title in the 500m women's K1 at the South African Sprint
Championships at Shongweni Dam over the past weekend.
There was some intense racing
at the recent South African Sprint Championships at Shongweni Dam as shown
here by Calvin Clack (front) and Cameron Hudson (back) following their win
in the men's K2 200m at Shongweni Dam over the past weekend.
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