Canoeing South Africa
24 Mar 2016
Written by: Nick Tatham
African Sprint Champs to end off busy sprint season
Durban Ė Shongweni Dam just outside Hillcrest will welcome the continents
best sprint paddlers for the largest African Sprint Championships on record
from 1-3 April 2016 rounding off a month in which the brand new course has
hosted a number of national championship canoeing events.
The event has added significance for the majority of the paddlers as the
event will decide sevens available continental qualification places for the
2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio di Janeiro in August .
The event organisers have received entries from paddlers from 20 different
African countries for the K1, K2, C1 and C2 races being covered at the
With the best in Africa expected to fight it out for the limited number of
spots at the Rio di Janeiro showpiece the competition will be fierce in the
handful of events identified as being Olympic qualifying events.
Three of the Canoe events have been highlighted as Olympic qualification
events with the Menís C1 200m and 1000m as well as the Menís C2 1000m.
In the more common kayaking disciplines both the menís and the womenís K1
200m are Olympic qualification events whilst the womenís K1 500m and the
menís K1 1000m round out the Olympic qualification races.
The event will be spearheaded by South African sprint sweetheart Bridgitte
Hartley who will use the event as another training event having already
secured her spot at the Olympic Games in five monthsí time.
Hartley will lead the South African charge at the African Championships in
the womenís 500m Ė the event she claimed bronze in at the London Olympic
Games in 2012 Ė and with a busy Olympic build up in Europe she will hope to
continue her good form.
Team South Africa will also include two C Boat paddlers in the form of
Radoslav Olszewki and Calvin Makoto. These two impressed at the recent South
African national championships and will fly the flag for the country at the
The home team will include a number of younger paddlers with Under 18 stars
Jean van der Westhuyzen and Donna Hutton being selected to take on the best
in Africa along with Jarryd Gibson.
A number of Under 23 paddlers have also been included with Louis Hattingh,
Calvin Clack and Cameron Hudson leading the charge.
Hattingh was the strongest menís paddler at the recent South African
Championships despite being an Under 23 paddler however there are a number
of top sprinters that were not considered for selection for the
Apart from Hartley and Hutton, Melanie van Niekerk and Bianca Beavitt will
also be part of the womenís contingent that will take part following their
respective performances at the South African Sprint Championships.
The African Sprint Canoe Championships takes place from 1-3 April. More
information can be found at canoesa.org.za
Team South Africa:
Louis Hattingh, Stuart MacLaren, Chrisjan Coetzee, Calvin Clack, Cameron
Hudson, Radoslav Olszewki, Calvin Makoto, Bridgitte Hartley, Bianca Beavitt,
Melanie Van Niekerek, Donna Hutton, Jarryd Gibson, Jean van der Westhuyzen.
Manager: Craig Mustard
Countries taking part:
Algeria, Angola, Cameroon, Cote d Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya,
Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Seychelles, Soa Tome
& Principe, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tunisia.
Click to download the hi-res
Africa Logo (GIF).
South African sprint ace
Bridgitte Hartley will look to continue her impressive build up to the
2016 Olympic Games in Rio di Janeiro when she takes on the continents best
at the upcoming African Sprint Championships at Shongweni Dam from 1-3
Young sprint canoeing star
Jean van der Westhuyzen has been selected in the South African team to
take on the best in Africa at the upcoming African Sprint Championships at
Shongweni Dam from 1-3 April.
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