Team South Africa hunting medals in Denmark
Denmark Ė A strong South African team will once again be
expecting to return with a big medal haul from the 2023 ICF
Canoe Marathon World Championships which starts on Thursday in
Last year the team returned from Portugal with six medals,
including two golds from the menís under 23 and senior K1
events, which was enough for fourth overall on the medal table.
However, the team-boat events saw South Africa come up short Ė
something they are hoping to rectify this year.
Heading into the championships, Christie Mackenzie has moved up
into the senior ranks and is cautiously excited to tackle the
best of the best in the K1 event.
ďItís quite nice going into a race and not having too many
expectations, because it is my first year as a senior,Ē the Euro
Steel athletes said.
ďI do want to have a good race and Iíve raced a number of these
girls in previous years, but itís a different ball game now and
Iím now at the bottom of the food chain as one of the youngest
on the start line.
ďWith that in mind, it does take some of the pressure off, but I
am excited to finally be at the top of the racing pool and able
to race the best people in the world.Ē
Mackenzie is focusing entirely on the K1 race at the World
Championships this year and she will be joined in the senior
womenís K1 by Nikki Birkett.
The menís senior K1 boats will be that of defending champion
Andy Birkett and 2022 under 23 champion Hamish Lovemore.
The senior K2 races will be hotly contested once again and on
the menís side Clinton Cook and Hamish Lovemore will be out to
podium with Bradley Boule and Wayne Jacobs also eager to make a
The womenís K2ís will include the Durban-based training pair of
Michelle Burn and 2022 junior medallist in K1 and K2, Saskia
Hockly, as well as the East London training partners Nikki
Birkett and Jade Wilson.
From an under 23 perspective, the South African team will be
hoping for another strong showing from Uli Hart in the menís K1
race ,with Matt Fenn also out to prove that he is podium
Jade Wilson and Hockly will be the two boats in the womenís
under 23 K1 and they too will be hoping to step onto the podium
after their race.
The next generation of paddlers will be on display in the junior
age groups and in the junior boys K1 race itís Luke Salmon and
Zak Jacobs who will represent South Africa and in the junior
girls K1 race, Georgia Singe and Holly Smith will be hoping for
Salmon will then link up with Bruno Cochrane in the junior boys
K2 race with Jared Shrimpton and Ryley Smith also involved and
Smith and Singe will team up in the K2 race for the junior girls
along with Babette van Rooyen and Neriyah Dill.
From a short course perspective Bridgitte Hartley, Christie
Mackenzie, Uli Hart and Clinton Cook will be out to claim medals
for Team South Africa.
The traditional pre-cursor to the elite World Champs is the ICF
Masters Canoe Marathon World Championships and the six-man South
African team grabbed four medals, including two golds.
The two stars of the show were Chris Visser and Pieter
Engelbrecht who earned two medals apiece.
Visser opened the regatta with a bronze in the K1 65-69 age
group where he outsprinted the Canoeing South Africa Secretary
General, Colin Simpkins for the bronze medal in the race.
However, the two teamed up and won the K2 event for the same age
group the next day after a tight sprint with the Norwegian crew
of paddling legend Einar Rasmussen and Gunnar Temoe.
Engelbrecht grabbed a silver in the K1 for the 50-54 age group
and then teamed up with Matthew Ballenden and finished second in
K2 race for the same age group.
For more information go to
Team South Africa for the ICF
Canoe Marathon World Championships
K1 Men Senior - Andy Birkett, Hamish Lovemore
K1 Women Senior - Christie Mackenzie, Nikki Birkett
K1 Men Senior Short Course - Clinton Cook, Uli Hart
K1 Women Senior Short Course - Bridgitte Hartley, Christie
K1 Men Under 23 - Uli Hart, Matt Fenn
K1 Women Under 23 - Saskia Hockly, Jade Wilson
K1 Men Junior - Luke Salmon, Zak Jacobs
K1 Women Junior - Georgia Singe, Holly Smith
K2 Men Senior - Hamish Lovemore/Clinton Cook, Wayne
K2 Women Senior - Nikki Birkett/Jade Wilson, Michelle Burn/Saskia
K2 Men Junior - Jared Shrimpton/Ryley Smith, Luke Salmon/Bruno
K2 Women Junior - Georgia Singe/Holly Smith, Babette van Rooyen/Neriyah