It was not only a battle against the best sprinters in the world, but also against treacherous weather conditions for South Africa’s Alasdair Glass and Anthony Collopy on day two of the 2014 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Moscow on Thursday.
The pair’s 3min 18.735sec and seventh place in their K1 Men’s 1000m heat early on Thursday morning was enough to see them advance into the semi-finals before violent early afternoon thunderstorms brought a dramatic halt to proceedings midway through the day’s programme.
After a slight improvement in the weather racing resumed, but Glass and Collopy were still confronted with heavy rain and wind during their semi-final effort as well as the imposing figure of Australia’s former world champion and Olympic gold medallist Kenny Wallace.
‘The guys gave it their all and are chuffed to have made the C Final, even though they had hoped to make the B Final,’ said team coach and manager Craig Mustard.
‘Ali [Glass] and Ant [Collopy] have only been working together at it for just over nine months and a lot of the boats they were up against are seasoned campaigners,’ he added.
Glass and Collopy posted a 3.27.964 in the semi-final effort, enough to see them finish seventh and qualify for the finals phase of the competition where they will compete in the Final C on Saturday morning.
Friday’s action sees Olympic bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley take to the water for the first time in the champs when she tackles her K1 Women’s 500m heat and, hopefully, semi-final before also giving the K1 Women’s 200m competition a go later in the day.
Fresh off his ICF Canoe Sprint Junior and Under-23 World Championship effort, emerging U23 talent Chrisjan Coetzee will also tackle his maiden senior champs event on Friday when the K1 Men’s 200m heats take place.
Picture: Balint Vekassy/Gameplan Media