Canoeing South Africa Media Release

 No: CSA 2321

12 Sept 2023

 Embargo : None

Written by: Tim Whitfield

Plenty of hope from international development regatta

Poznan, Poland – The South Africa "Olympic Hopes" team of under 17 and under 16 sprint canoeists returned from Poland this week determined to use the experience of international competition as a springboard to future success.

In hot conditions in Poznan, Poland, the 12 young South Africans reached three B finals and one C final as well as a sprinkling of semi-finals in the four-day regatta. The event is organised under the auspices of the International Canoe Federation to expose the world's most promising junior paddlers to the rigours of international competition.

The top K1 results came from under 17 Jordan Klopper who finished sixth and eighth in B finals in the 200m and 500m events respectively, while also reaching the C final for the longer 1 000m race.

Wandile Dube and Senzo Ngcobo were the stars of the K2 crews with an impressive eighth in the under 17 1 000m B final, and they also reached the semi-finals of the two shorter distances, while Tomé dos Santos and Sikhanyisele Dekeda made it into the semis in the under 17 1 000m.

Among the girls, Luyanda Mkhunya and Thandeka Ndlovu showed remarkable consistency with three under 17 semi-final results, while Kayla Szalay was the only under 16 to get beyond the heats when she eased into the semis for the K1 1 000m.

Team manager Jodie Ellinor-Dreyer said she was very proud of each of the 12 paddlers in the team.

"Overall I think it was a very successful tour for all the athletes," said Dreyer on Tuesday. "Each and every one of them worked tremendously hard and they remained focused and gave of their best.

"There were 778 athletes from 42 different countries at the Olympic Hopes regatta so the competition was extremely tough, but all our athletes did their best. Some of the South African team were disappointed that their results did not reflect the huge effort and time they put into training, but none of the athletes are deflated.

"All of them are upbeat and after the experience are more determined and they are now also aware of what they need to do to reach finals and get on the podium at international competitions.

"For me, all 12 athletes embodied the adage: 'You must make the choice to take the chance to make a meaningful change.'

"I believe the experience they have gained will help them when they compete locally and at international events, but they will also become ambassadors for canoeing at the clubs where they train, at their schools and in their respective communities," added Ellinor-Dreyer.

South African results at the Olympic Hopes Regatta
Jordan Klopper:
K1 200m - B final 6th; K1 500m - B final 8th; K1 1 000m - C final 6th
Theo Dreyer:
K1 200m - heat 7th; K1 500m - heat 7th; K1 1 000m - heat 7th
Wandile Dube & Senzo Ngcobo:
K2 200m - semi-final 8th; K2 500m - semi-final 9th; K2 1 000m - B final 8th
Luyanda Mkhunya & Thandeka Ndlovu:
K2 1 000m - semi-final 8th; K2 200m - semi-final 6th; K2 500m - semi-final 8th
Tomé dos Santos & Sikhanyisele Dekeda:
K2 500m - heat 8th; K2 1 000m - semi-final 8th

Kayla Szalay:
K1 1 000m - semi-final 9th; K1 200m - heat 9th; K1 500m - heat 9th
Nkanyezi Hlongwane:
K1 200m - heat 9th
Tyde Malherbe:
K1 200m- heat 9th; K1 500m - heat 5th; K1 1 000m - heat 7th
Nkanyezi Hlongwane & Christopher Mpiti:
K2 200m - heat 8th; K2 500m - heat 9th; K2 1 000m - heat 9th

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The South African Olympic Hopes squad members who competed in the regatta in Poland.
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Wandile Dube (right) and Senzo Ngcobo reached the B final in the under 17 1 000m at the Olympic Hopes regatta in Poznan, Poland.
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Jordan Klopper was the top K1 paddler for the South African team at the Olympic Hopes regatta in Poznan, Poland.
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