Canoeing South Africa
19 May 2016
Written by: Kyle Gilham
World Cup season starts for SA’s Sprinters
Durban – Three of South Africa’s top flat water paddlers are readying
themselves for this weekend’s start of the international season when the
action from the first leg of the 2016 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup unfolds in
Duisburg, Germany from 20-22 May.
While the nation’s Canoe Sprint golden girl Bridgitte Hartley looks to
continue her preparations for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
at the German event having already qualified for the showpiece at last
year’s World Championships, the season’s opener represents a challenge of
its own for Esti van Tonder and Stuart Bristow.
“Preparations for the World Cups have been going well for me,” says Van
“I changed my training focus after SA Champs in March so racing at these
World Cups will give me a good indication as to whether it was a good or bad
change, however judging by how training has been going I'm confident it has
been for the better!
“As the World Cups in Duisburg and Czech Republic will be my only
international races for 2016 I am hoping to use these events as a benchmark
for my preparations leading up to 2020.
“I will use these races to see where I am on the international racing scale
and then look to build from there,” she adds.
Having recently returned her focus to her K1 efforts, Van Tonder will tackle
the hotly contested K1 Women 500m and 1000m event this weekend before taking
on the K1 Women 500m and 200m races at next weekend’s World Cup second leg
in Račice, Czech Republic.
“I've been out of K1 racing in senior level for the past two years so for
now I am focusing on the process rather than the result.,” explains the
Pretoria based athlete.
“I'm hoping to make it into the A-final for the 1000m again and to try and
improve on my fifth place that I achieved in Portugal last year
“The racing in the 500m and 200m is going to be hard!
“I will be happy if I can qualify for a B-final in the 500m, despite
obviously pushing for my best possible performance in both events!”
Like many others on the international racing circuit, Van Tonder holds the
Duisburg facility in high regard and is relishing the start of this
“Duisburg is definitely one of the best courses to race at,” she says. “It's
a nicely sheltered course and the conditions are generally quite good so it
should be another great weekend of racing.”
After the conclusion of the German event, all three of Hartley, Van Tonder
and Bristow will make the journey to the Czech Republic however a tough
international assignment in Duisburg still stands between them and their
More information can be found at
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Esti van Tonder, together with
Bridgitte Hartley and Stuart Bristow, is all set to take on some of the
globe's best when she tackles the K1 Women 500m and 1000m events at the
ICF Canoe Marathon World Cup opening leg in Duisburg, Germany which takes
place from 20-22 May.
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