Hartley on her to way Poland for Canoe Sprint WC

2013-05-21 00:00

LONDON Olympics bronze medallist canoeist Bridgitte Hartley left for Europe yesterday to compete in the 2013 ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Poznan, Poland, at the end of the month.

She will compete in the K1 200 metre and 500 m events and, as an ambassador for the World Transplant Games in Durban from July 28 to August 4, she was given a send-off by some of the athletes at one of her final training sessions.

Hartley hopes to add a world championship title to her Olympic bronze, saying: “I feel as though I have skipped a level, having an Olympic medal, but nothing in the world champs column.

“I hope to put this right in Germany, at the end of August, when I compete at the world champs in the K1 500 m race in Duizberg.”

Although she will not be in Durban for the games, Hartley has left messages on the games website and YouTube, welcoming the 1 800 participants from 50 countries.

“I’m sad I won’t be here for the games as these athletes are a huge inspiration,” said Hartley.

“Their commitment and bravery on being given a second chance in life provides hope for everyone.”

Fellow games ambassador AmaZulu defender Luyanda Hlongwa joined Hartley in encouraging people to become organ donors by supporting the Transplant Games, the biggest organ donor awareness event in the world. His video message advises competitors and their teams on what Durban offers as a city, highlighting its attractions and appeal.

The Transplant Games has 50 events, including cycling, athletics, swimming, tennis, golf, squash, volleyball and bowling. Cycling and road running events will be on city streets.

One of the athletes wishing Hartley luck was Gunston Padayachee, a member of the World Transplant Games Local Organising Committee.

He is also the chairperson of the KZN Transplant Sports Association and is a teacher by profession.

He had a kidney transplant in 1992 and has participated at the games since 1997, where he has won numerous medals. This year, he competes in discus, Petanque (boules played by throwing metal balls at a jack) and 10-pin bowling.

Visit www.odf.org.za for more.

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