Ace canoe sprinter Bridgitte Hartley heads overseas this week to hone her preparations for the World Cup season in Europe.
And the Richard Bay based paddler leaves in confident frame of mind after good wins in last week’s selection trials, writes Mark Etheridge.
Our top female sprinter and medal hopeful for next year’s Olympic Games in London, Hartley is hopeful of success over the next few weeks.
“I was quite worried about my trials this year as I got ill last week Thursday so never trained for a few days,” she told Road to London 2012. “The ladies had straight finals this Tuesday and the guys had their heats and semis.
“I won the K1 200-metre and 500m races and my time for 500m is quite good for this time of year so I am very happy that illness didn’t really set me back really.”
The national team for World Cup action is due to be announced shortly but Hartley won’t be around to hear that. “I’m skipping our nationals [at Nagle Dam in KZN] this weekend and heading off to Europe to rather race a World Cup and get more racing experience.
“I’ll meet up with the rest of the team for the second and third World Cups in the Czech Republic and Germany. I’ll be back in South Africa in June.”
Other winners at the selection trials were Cape Town based Shaun Rubenstein and Mike Arthur in the men’s K2 200m event while Nick Stubbs took the men’s K1 1000m.