By Mark Etheridge
Olympic bronze medal-winning canoeist Bridgitte Hartley will be in action at the World Sprint Championships in Duisberg, Germany this week.
After a less than ideal year which saw her contracting chicken pox and missing out on some crucial World Cup competition time, the Richards Bay blonde will be lining up for her first race on Thursday afternoon.
“I’ve been away since 16 July for a good summer camp,” she told Road to Rio ahead of the championships.
“Luckily there was no illness while I was in Hungary or Austria. And I guess my training went as well as it could have gone, considering my up and down year.”
This year will be different for Hartley as she’s also in action in a newly formed K4 boat, along with fellow Olympian Tiffany Kruger, Under-23 ace Estie van Tonder and teenage talent Kerry Shuter.
“I’ve paddled a few times in K4,” said Hartley. “But I always have to keep my focus on my K1 because it’s what I’ve been doing for many years now and have been successful at. I’m just trying to help motivate others to paddle and train harder by joining in the K4.
“I race K1 heats and semi-final on Thursday and K4 heats and semis on Friday. The finals for K1 are Saturday afternoon and then hopefully we’ll be in the K4 final on Sunday afternoon.”