Hartley back after Cups | TeamSA - TeamSA

Hartley back after Cups

By Mark Etheridge

Bridgitte Hartley, our top women’s sprint canoeist, wrapped up her World Cup with a seventh spot in the 500-metre A final in Duisberg, Germany.

Hartley, a medallist at last year’s World Cup series, has had a few battles with her health recently but is hanging in there ahead of the ICF Sprint World Championships in Szeged, Hungary in August.

Hartley wisely opted to curtail her racing at the first World Cup in Poznan, Poland as she hadn’t recovered properly from a bout of illness. She was the only South African competitor in action. “I got ill after our trials so I pulled out of the first World Cup after the semis and then couldn’t train properly for about two weeks so the second World Cup [in Racice, Czech Republic] was the hardest for me mentally and physically,” Hartley told Road to London 2012 this week. The rest of the South African team joined her for this leg of the series.

“I only made a C-final which I won but it placed me in 19th position overall in the K1 500m.┬á I managed a third in the B-Final for the 200m which placed me 12th but that is not a qualifying spot either.”

Thankfully things got better the next week in Duisberg although the cold weather wouldn’t have been that welcome. “But┬á I had the race of my season so far in the semi-finals and I won it assuring me a place in the A-finals. I think the semi-final race felt better for me but I think a seventh is good for now and it gives me some confidence for the next block of training ahead of me.”

Hartley is now back in South Africa and although currently suffering a sore throat pretty much back to full health. “Travelling seems to be nailing my immune system all the time. I want to go back to Europe soon so I can train in that climate for long with no major travels before WorldsÔǪ I’m back home for three weeks now and my next event will be Worlds in AugustÔǪ the Big One.”