By Mark Etheridge
Bridgitte Hartley is one tough cookie… she has to be, after powering her way to a sprint canoe 500-metre K1 bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
So despite an inordinately tough weekend’s racing at the weekend’s World Cup in Duisberg, Germany, expect the Richard’s Bay blonde to bounce back sooner rather than later.
She won the women’s 500-metre C-Final and, after taking seventh in the semi-final, ended up fourth in the K1 200m C final.
‘It was a tough weekend of racing 200m before the 500m as I’m using them for extra starts but I’m not so good at the 200m,’ she told Road to Rio 2016. ‘The changed programme was tough.’
But it was all a means to an end, an invaluable lesson for Hartley.
‘The Olympic Games have scheduled a heat and semi-final for the same event within two hours of each other so I need to get used to it,’ she said with her usual honesty.
‘So this result was possibly the worst of my career though, winning the C-Final only.
‘But I know lots of the girls have had selection races for Rio so they have all had to ensure they are very fast or it would mean no ticket to Rio.
‘I’m using that as a confidence-builder hoping I will be able to shave off a few seconds come Rio. But there’s no doubting it was a disappointing weekend for me.’