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Olympian Hartley makes a clean sweep at sprint champs

London Olympian Bridgitte Hartley starred at the South African Sprint Canoeing Championships at Nagle Dam, KwaZulu-Natal on the weekend as the Olympic bronze medallist ticked all the boxes in her long term strategy aimed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Hartley, pictured here racing at the weekend, comfortably won the Senior Victrix Ludorum title after a weekend of winning all her K1 races and also contesting several K2 finals against a field that showed plenty of highly competitive talent coming through the ranks.

She pronounced herself satisfied with her form at this stage in the season. “I have had a really good build-up season and off-season, in the swimming pool and skiing. I have been working a lot harder in the gym and challenging myself more, so so-far-so-good. I am really looking forward to the serious racing season.

“I was hoping to try and break my 1 minute 52 second time from the KZN Champs a few weeks ago because the conditions were pretty much the same. But I know that when it comes to the international season I will be able to push myself harder. I saw that in the 200m final with Timea.”

Hartley was put under pressure in that 200m K1 final by Hungarian ace Timea Paksy, who has relocated to South African with plans to qualify for the Rio 2016 Games for South Africa.

“As far as women’s racing in South Africa is concerned, Timea being here is a big boost for the sport,” said Hartley. “She is a natural 200m racer and I understand that she is here to race in a K4, which is good news.”

Under-23 stars Kerry Segal and Jenna Ward took the second and third places on the overall women’s points table.

Cape speedster Alasdair Glass outclassed a strong field of KZN locals to scoop the Victor Ludorum title, edging out Dusi champ Andy Birkett, Under-23 star Stu McLaren and two former marathon world champs Cam Schoeman and Brandon van der Walt.

The Peninsula Canoe Club racer won a tough 1000m K1 final and then finished second in the 500m K1 final to on-form Greg Louw, while he also grabbed key points in the K2 finals with his partner Ant Collopy to secure the overall title.

McLaren’s consistently competitive results saw him take the overall Under 23 title from Brandon Van Der Walt, while Segal just edged out Ward to take the women’s equivalent.

Louis Hattingh wrapped up the junior title from the tenacious Bryan le Roux and Michaelhouse star Jean van der Westhuyzen, with Donna Hutton taking the girls honours from Julia Trodd and emerging Cape star Julia van der Westhuysen.

“It was a great weekend of racing,” reflected Hartley. “I was worried that sprints was dying but the standard of racing, the competitiveness amongst the juniors and the vibe was fantastic.”

Picture: Hannes van der Westhuyzen/Gameplan Media


Senior Men
1 Alasdair Glass PEN 57.0
2 Andy Birkett NAT 53.5
3 Stuart McLaren UCT 48.0
4 Cam Schoeman NAT 47.5
5 Brandon van der Walt PEN 46.0
6 Chrisjan Coetzee PAA 43.5
7 Greg Louw FRCC 42.0
8 Ant Collopy PEN 31.0
9 Clinton Cook VAR 24.5
10 Frans Smit PEN 23.5

Senior Women
1 Bridgitte Hartley KZN 72.5
2 Kerry Segal KZN 48.0
3 Jenna Ward VAR 46.0
4 Brittany Petersen KZN 39.5
5 Esti van Tonder ACA 36.0
6 Tiffany Kruger ACA 32.0
7 Melanie van Niekerk MIL 23.5
8 Hayley Arthur KIN 20.5
9 Timea Paksy ACA 16.0

Under-23 Men
1 Stuart McLaren UCT 68.0
2 Brandon van der Walt PEN 58.0
3 Clinton Cook VAR 51.5
4 Chrisjan Coetzee PAA 41.5
5 Luke Stowman PAA 36.0
6 Martin van den Bergh JCC 27.5
7 Frans Smit PEN 27.5
8 Joseph Williams PAA 26.0
9 Gabriel van Wyk ACA 26.0
10 Calven Clack KZN 17.0

Under-23 Women
1 Kerry Segal KZN 48.0
2 Jenna Ward VAR 46.0
3 Brittany Petersen KZN 39.5
4 Esti van Tonder ACA 36.0
5 Melanie van Niekerk MIL 23.5

Men 35+
1 Allan Hold STE 82.5
2 Steve Main KZN 65.5
3 Nigel Briggs KZN 48.0
4 Simon Mthethwa KZN 39.0
5 Bernard Bakker KZN 34.0
6 Neil Evans STE 26.5
7 Lee McGregor KIN 16.5
8 Mfanfikile Gwala THO 9.5
9 Ralf Whiting KZN 8.0

Under-18 Boys
1 Louis Hattingh KZN 88.0
2 Bryan Leroux KZN 72.0
3 Jean van der Westhuyzen KZN 68.0
4 Stuart Bristow PEN 47.0
5 David Rodrigues DAB 42.0
6 Keagan Kok KZN 35.5
7 Ryno van der Westhuyzen PAA 34.0
8 Cameron Hudson KZN 25.0
9 David Meihuizen PAA 24.0
10 Nicholas Smuts KZN 13.0

Under-18 Girls
1 Donna Hutton KZN 58.5
2 Julia Trodd KZN 52.5
3 Julia van der Westhuysen WCCU 41.0
4 Kayla de Beer KZN 32.0
5 Nicole Smith DAB 27.0
6 Nokhanya Shange UMZ 14.0
7 Mea Stiglingh KZN 14.0
8 Kelly Biljoen CRU 10.0
9 Christie Mackenzie KZN 0.0
10 Emma Gultig KIN 0.0