Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA1609 24 Mar 2016

 Embargo : None

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 championships.

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 continental showpiece.

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 championships.

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

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.


Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
Canoeing South 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 April.

Louis Hattingh/
Gameplan Media

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.

Louis Hattingh/
Gameplan Media

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