Hartley stars at SA Sprint Champs
Nagle Dam – Bridgitte Hartley starred at the South African Sprint Canoeing Championships recently at Nagle Dam as the Olympic bronze medallist ticked all the boxes in her long term strategy aimed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Hartley comfortably won the Senior Victrix Ludorum title after a weekend of winning all her K1 races and also contesting several K2 finals against a field that showed plenty of highly competitive talent coming through the ranks.
Hartley was put under pressure in that 200m K1 final by Hungarian ace Timea Paksy, who has relocated to South African with plans to qualify for the Rio 2016 Games for South Africa.
“As far as women’s racing in South Africa is concerned, Timea being here is a big boost for the sport,” said Hartley. “She is a natural 200m racer and I understand that she is here to race in a K4, which is good news.”
Under 23 stars Kerry Segal and Jenna Ward took the second and third places on the overall women’s points table.
Cape speedster Alasdair Glass outclassed a strong field of KZN locals to scoop the Victor Ludorum title, edging out Dusi champ Andy Birkett, Under 23 star Stu McLaren and two former marathon world champs Cam Schoeman and Brandon van der Walt.
The Peninsula Canoe Club racer won a tough 1000m K1 final and then finished second in the 500m K1 final to on-form Greg Louw, while he also grabbed key points in the K2 finals with his partner Ant Collopy to secure the overall title.
McLaren’s consistently competitive results saw him take the overall Under 23 title from Brandon Van Der Walt, while Segal just edged out Ward to take the women’s equivalent. Louis Hattingh wrapped up the junior title from the tenacious Bryan le Roux and Michaelhouse star Jean van der Westhuyzen, with Donna Hutton taking the girls honours from Julia Trodd and emerging Cape star Julia van der Westhuysen.