Canoeing South Africa
25 May 2016
Written by: Nick Tatham
Positive Hartley looking for World Cup improvement
Durban – The recent ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Duisburg, Germany was a
disappointing one for London Olympic bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley who
managed a consolation K1 Women’s 500m C-final victory and is now looking
forward to setting the record straight at the World Cup second leg in the
Czech Republic this weekend.
As Hartley continues her preparations for the Rio Olympic Games, Esti van
Tonder and Stuart Bristow – the balance of the three-strong South African
team that took on the world’s best in Germany – looked for a strong showing
of their own at the first Sprint World Cup of the season.
Having only raced at the South African and the African Sprint Championships
thus far this year, Hartley had hoped the Duisburg World Cup would see her
get back into international competition despite knowing it would be a
difficult way to restart her efforts at this level.
“It was a really tough weekend of racing for me,” Hartley mentioned as she
makes her way to Račice for the second World Cup. “Only being able to win
the C-final was probably the worst result of my career.”
Despite the disappointing result, Hartley understands the challenges the
event posed and appreciates she has work to do heading into the second World
Cup this weekend.
“A lot of the other girls have been in top form recently with them having
just raced their Olympic qualifiers.
“Racing the K1 200m before the K1 500m this weekend was also a challenge and
even though I have always seen the 200m as my weaker event, I chose to still
race both because I am wanting to race as much as I can at the moment.
”The change in the program made things a little more difficult than usual as
the time gap between the 200m and 500m was not all that long – we had the
200m finals in the morning and then the 500m heats and semi-finals in the
“That said though, the Olympic Games have scheduled the heats and
semi-finals for the same event within two hours of each other so I need to
get used to it.
“I am also taking confidence from the fact that some of the others are going
really well at the moment as I look to shave off those important seconds
come Rio,” a positive Hartley added.
The 2014 World Championship bronze medallist is looking forward to the
challenge of coming back stronger when she competes in the Czech Republic
“There are a few elements of my technique that I have to fix but I am hoping
that if that comes right then I should be a lot better prepared for racing
“A lot of the top girls are not going to be there this weekend and so the
next time that I race against them will be at the Olympic Games in Rio,”
The opening World Cup was a solid outing for Van Tonder who finished second
in her B-final in the K1 Women’s 1000m event and now heads to Račice with an
eye on the 500m and 200m K1 events.
Stuart Bristow will also be in action in the Czech Republic as he takes on
the Men’s 1000m K1 event, looking to improve on his opening World Cup
More information can be found at
ORDER OF EVENTS – ICF CANOE SPRINT WORLD
CHAMPIONSHIPS, Račice, CZECH REPUBLIC
Times are the same as South African time
Day One – 27 May
K1 Men 1000m HEAT V – Stuart Bristow (09:19)
K1 Women 200m HEAT IV – Bridgitte Hartley (11:00)
K1 Women 200m HEAT V – Esti van Tonder (11:05)
Day Two – 28 May
K1 Women 500m HEAT I – Esti van Tonder (14:58)
K1 Women 500m HEAT III – Bridgitte Hartley (15:10)
Click to download the hi-res
Africa Logo (GIF).
Following a disappointing
season opening in Germany, South African sprint star Bridgitte Hartley
will be hoping to get her Rio Olympic Games preparation back on track at
this weekends ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Račice, Czech Republic.
Following a solid performance
in Duisburg at the opening ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup, Esti van Tonder
will look to the shorter events as she focuses on the 500m and 200m K1
events at the second ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Račice, Czech Republic
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