By Mark Etheridge
South African paddlers will be involved in two finals on the final day of the Canoe Sprint World Cup 2 in Duisberg, Germany on Sunday.
Sadly none of them will be A finals though while Louis Hattingh goes off in the one-off K1 5000m event.
SA’s Saturday hopes were pinned on 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley but the KwaZulu-Natal paddler had a disappointing time on the water as she ended ninth and last.
Her time of 1min 57.127sec saw her ending around more than five seconds behind winner Lisa Carrington of New Zealand (1:51.888).
But as ever, the bubbly blonde, who has been battling a shoulder injury for the last while, will look on the positive side of things.
‘It wasn’t a good race for me,’ said, ‘but I’ll have to take the positives out of my semi yesterday. She had ended second in her semi-final on Friday.
So Sunday will sees Hartley in the B final of the 200m, Louis Hattingh in the 500m C Final and then again in the 5000m K1 race where he’ll be one of 43 racers.
Hattingh ended fifth in his heat and then seventh in his semi-final, his time of 1:51.308 some way off Aussie Kenny Wallace’s 1:44.541.
‘Today’s racing was really a mixed bag,’ said manager and national sprint president Craig Mustard. ‘Bridgitte just couldn’t get good, comfortable rhythm but then did make the B final in the 200m.
‘Louis did manage to find rhythm and got that C final slot.
‘Our other paddler, Chrisjan Coetzee couldn’t go past his semi-final stage in the K1 200m category.’