Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA2139

01 Oct 2021

 Embargo : None

Written by: Dave Macleod

Mackenzie & Hart bag bronzes for Team SA

Pitești, Romania – It was another strong day of paddling from Team South Africa as Christie Mackenzie and Uli Hart added a bronze each to the medal tally in the Under 23 K1 women’s and men’s races respectively at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Pitești on Friday.

Mackenzie paddled another impressive race, much like her race in 2017 in Pietermaritzburg when she also bagged a bronze medal in the junior category.

"It was one of the toughest races I've ever raced," Mackenzie said. "My start wasn't great and I nearly had a swim 250 metres in so managed to avoid that one so I was playing catch-up for the whole of the first lap.

"I sat on diamond and got my breath back but when it was just a group three I think that wanted me to pull!" she laughed.

"To have the support from the South African team on the portage is unreal and you can hear the vuvuzela's through most of the course which is incredible!"

The other South African in the Under 23 women’s race was Kira Bester who finished in a solid sixth position overall.

For Hart it was a race of tactics as he took the decision on the penultimate portage to drop off the pace of the leading two boats and stick with the chasing pack for the final lap and short lap.

The decision paid dividends as Hart put in a powerful end sprint to hold off a group of six other paddlers including former junior silver medallist Charlie Smith to win the bronze medal and claim his first marathon world’s medal.

Alex Masina was the other South African boat in the Under 23 men’s race and Masina ended the race in fifteenth place overall.

The junior women’s K2 racing got the morning’s schedule off to an exciting start with the Durban-based pair of Valmajean Hockly and Tannah Smith flying the flag high at the front of the race however it was the two Hungarian boats who were too strong.

The pair were in a battle for the bronze medal right up to the final push for the line but they lost out and had to settle for fourth in the race – which is an encouraging sign given the pair will be back again in the junior category in 2022.

The other junior women’s pair of Melonie Croeser and Georgina Howard had to settle for thirteenth overall.

Saturday is going to provide a busy schedule for Team South Africa with the Junior Boys K1 race being followed by both Senior Women’s and Senior Men’s K1 races.

Day Two

Junior Women K2
1. Sara Fojt/Laura Ujfalvi (HUN) 01:27:31
2. Evelin Csengeri/Maja Horvath (HUN) 01:27:36
3. Sophie Hansen/Karoline Nielsen (DEN) 01:28:52
4. Valmajean Hockly/Tannah Smith (RSA) 01:28:55
13. Meloni Croeser/Georgina Howard (RSA) 01:33:17

Under 23 Women K1
1. Catherine Rask (DEN) 1:47:37
2. Dorina Fekete (HUN) 1:47:45
3. Christie Mackenzie (RSA) 1:48:22
5. Kira Bester (RSA) 1:49:56

Under 23 Men K1
1. Nikolai Thomsen (DEN) 1:50:52
2. Agustin Rodriguez (ARG) 1:52:26
3. Uli Hary (RSA) 1:52:49
15. Alex Masina (RSA) 1:57:10

Junior Boys K1: Matthew Millward, Josh Smith
Junior Boys K2: Matthew Millward/Jack Edmonds, Joshua Simpkins/Matthew Coetzer
Senior Ladies K1: Jenna Nisbet, Melanie Van Niekerk
Senior Ladies K2: Saskia Hockly/Jenna Nisbet, Christie Mackenzie/Bridgitte Hartley
Senior Mens K1: Hamish Lovemore, Hank McGregor
Senior Mens K2: Hamish Lovemore/Hank McGregor, Uli Hart/Kenny Rice

Programme of events:
17 Sat 02/10/2021 7:15:00 K1 Men Juniors
20 Sat 02/10/2021 12:15:00 K1 Women
21 Sat 02/10/2021 14:45:00 K1 Men

22 Sun 03/10/2021 7:45:00 K2 Men Juniors
24 Sun 03/10/2021 11:00:00 K2 Women
25 Sun 03/10/2021 13:00:00 K2 Men

More details can be found at 


Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic
Canoeing South Africa Logo (GIF).  

Western Cape based paddler Uli Hart (right) poses with his mother Lis (left) after he won his first ICF Canoe Marathon World Championship medal on Friday - bronze in the Under 23 men's K1 race. Balint Vekassy/
Gameplan Media

It was another strong performance at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships by Christie Mackenzie who won her second career bronze in the Under 23 Women's K1 race on Friday. Balint Vekassy/
Gameplan Media

Conditions of usage of photographs: All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements, commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you, please advise us immediately and we will be glad to remove your name from this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information, or if you cannot access the images, please contact:
Gameplan Media
(031) 764 3017