Hartley and Rubenstein hit the headlines

2008-06-16 00:00

Duisburg (Germany) — The South African sprint canoeing team preparing for the Beijing Olympics posted its best ever international results at the Duisburg Sprint World Cup in Germany where all the key Olympic hopefuls returned excellent results in their A finals, and Bridgitte Hartley stunned the event with a silver medal in the women’s 1 000 m K1 A final.

Hartley provided arguably the shock of the regatta when she scorched home to finish second in the 1 000 m K1 A final, sandwiched between two German world beaters in Katrin Wagner-Augustin and Fredericke Leue, after being fourth at the 250 m mark.

She kicked powerfully as she headed towards the halfway point and finished strongly to grab her first World Cup medal.

“I am so, so happy!” enthused Hartley after the prize-giving ceremony. “I had two new challenges at this World Cup, the K2 with Michelle Eray, and the 1 000 m K1, and to get a silver between two such class paddlers is very exciting!”

Shaun Rubenstein bounced back from a disappointing weekend at the season-opening regatta in Hungary to post a sixth place in the vital men’s 500 m K1 A final, after having been in third place going through the 250 mark, and a solid seventh in the 1 000 m K1 A final.

“I am pretty happy with my results, considering where I was at last weekend!” said Rubenstein. “I really had to focus hard to pick myself back up to perform well. I still feel that I am not at my best, but I am on my way back up,” he added.

Shortly after that, Jennifer Hodson narrowly missed out on a medal in the women’s 500 m K1 A final — by a tenth of a second — when she finished fourth in a thrilling dash for the last medal with Chinese star Hongyan Zhong.

Perhaps the most encouraging result came in the new women’s K2 crew of Michelle Eray and Bridgitte Hartley, which was thrown together after Hartley lost her bid to dethrone Hodson from the women’s 500 m K1 berth for Beijing.

Despite their lack of training together, they raced superbly to make the highly competitive women’s 500 m K1 A final.

C1 rising star Calvin Mokoto got as far as the 500 m C1 semi-finals before bowing out of the regatta.

The national Lottery Distribution Trust Fund-supported squad now heads for Budapest for a training camp ahead of the next World Cup regatta in Poland. Rubenstein was also thrilled to learn that Ant Stott will join him this coming week.

“I am really looking forward to having him as a training partner as he prepares for the marathon World Championships,” said Rubenstein.

RESULTS

Women’s 1 000m K1 A final

1 Katrin WAGNER-AUGUSTIN (GER) 3:56.401

2 Bridgitte HARTLEY (RSA) 3:57.777

3 Friedericke LEUE (GER) 4:00.783

Men’s 1000m K1 A final

1.Tim BRABANTS (GBR) 3:28.925

Selected:

7.Shaun RUBENSTEIN (RSA) 3:35.183

Men’s 500m K1 A final

1 Adam VAN KOEVERDEN (CAN) 1:40.329

Selected:

6 Shaun RUBENSTEIN (RSA) 1:42.407

Women’s 500m K1 A final

1 Katrin WAGNER-AUGUSTIN (GER) 1:53.987

Selected:

4 Jennifer HODSON (RSA) 1:56.277

Women’s 500m K4 A final

1. GERMANY 1:32.583

Selected:

9. South Africa (Carol JOYCE/Michelle ERAY/Jennifer HODSON/Nicola MOCKE) 1:37.669

Women’s 500m K2 A final

1 Fanny FISCHER/Nicole REINHARDT (GER) 1:45.023

Selected:

9 Michelle ERAY/Bridgitte HARTLEY (RSA) 1:52.085

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