River Canoe Marathon
Embargo : None
Ward & Kožíšková strike up formidable Fish partnership
Cradock – With the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships a thing of the
past, young South African ace Jenna Ward will be teaming up with
defending women’s K2 champion Anna Kožíšková for this year’s Fish River
Canoe Marathon from 6 to 7 October.
Both paddlers were busy at the world championships with Ward teaming up
with Nikki Russell in the K2 showdown where they finished eleventh while
Kožíšková ended fifth in the K1 women’s race and seventh in the K2 race.
Kožíšková’s traditional K2 partner has been Abby Solms, and the pair won
the K2 race at the Fish in 2015 then did the double when they won the
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon in 2016. Solms’ has taken time away from
paddling as she is expecting her first child leaving Kožíšková at a
Solms became match-maker following a phone call to Ward suggesting that
the pair consider paddling the Fish together.
“It has worked out quite nicely for us considering that both of us
didn’t have a partner to paddle with,” Ward commented.
“To be honest I see this as quite an honour paddling with the defending
champion and someone that has won the Dusi as well!
“I am really looking forward to paddling Fish with Anna, and she is such
a strong paddler that it is going to be a lot of fun.”
Taking time to prepare and get to know your partner is often the
pre-race plan, however with Ward and Kožíšková being over 1000km apart
at the moment they will have to wait until the week of the race before
getting in a boat together.
“After Worlds Anna and her whole family went down to Cape Town to see
her brother which has meant that we haven’t been able to do any
“We will be paddling the same boat that Abby and Anna paddled so it will
be set-up for her already so I am not too concerned.
“She got very sick after the World Championships and had to take a week
off training but she assures me that she is back and training hard,”
Ward heads into her 10th Fish River Canoe Marathon having never won the
race and she will be hoping to shake off that bride’s maid tag that she
has been carrying.
The challenge for a consecutive crown for Kožíšková and a debut win for
Ward will be the duo of Bridgitte Hartley and Serbian star Kristina
“There is no question it is going to be tough and there are going to be
some strong girls crews but I think our biggest threat will be Bridgitte
“They won the Liebensbergvlei race over the weekend and with Kristina
staying here they will have a lot of time to train.
“Kristina is not familiar with river racing which might be a slight
advantage but they will be very strong contenders,” a wary Ward added.
Despite their rushed preparations Ward isn’t too concerned that they
will not spend any time in the boat before the race.
“We’ve just decided to go with the flow and see what happens.
“We are both still training hard on our own and she is a defending
champion so I know she is going to be in fine form.
“She is going to be providing the power from the back and I’ve just got
to drive straight!” she added with a chuckle.
The 2017 Fish River Canoe Marathon takes place from Grassridge Dam to
Cradock Sports Complex on Friday 6 and Saturday 7 October. More information
can be found at
Event: 2017 Fish River Canoe
Championships: 2017 South Africa K2 Marathon Championships
Date: 6 & 7 October 2017
Venue: Cradock, Eastern Cape
Stages: Day One - Grassridge Dam to below Knutsford Bridge (48km)
Day Two -
Below Knutsford Bridge to Cradock Sports Complex (36km)
Social Media: #Fish2017
download the hi-resolution pic
Fish River Canoe
Marathon 2017 Logo - JPeg
Having been without a partner,
Euro Steel's Jenna Ward will team up with Czech Republic star and
defending K2 Fish River Canoe Marathon champion Anna Kožíšková for the
two-day race on 6-7 October.
Having won both the Fish River
Canoe Marathon and the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon with partner Abby Solms,
Anna Kožíšková (back) will team up with Jenna Ward at the 2017 Fish
River Canoe Marathon from 6-7 October.
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