Jen Hodson bounces back

2008-04-29 00:00

In a reversal of fortunes, Jen Hodson emerged this weekend as the South African national women’s champion at the SA Sprint Canoe Championships at Nagle Dam.

After being narrowly edged out by Bridgette Hartley in the 500 m Olympic trial last week, Hodson won both this distance and the 200 m at the championships as well as the 500 m K2 with Hartley and the 200 m K2 with Carol Joyce.

She and Joyce placed second to the Western Province pairing of Michelle Eray and Nicola Mocke in the 1 000 m and 3 000 m K2 and Hartley won the 1 000 m and 3 000 m K1.

“It was a great weekend of racing,” said Hodson, clearly happy with her performance and now able to prepare for the final trial for her K1 Olympic berth with more confidence.

Hartley was equally happy with her racing and leaves shortly for Hungary where she will be training with a group of international C1 paddlers.

Shaun Rubenstein blazed an almost perfect path through the championships winning every event available, bar the 200 m K2 where he and Ant Stott had to be satisfied with third place behind winners Michael Arthur and Nic Burden and the Louw brothers, Ryan and Greg, from the Eastern Cape.

“This is probably the best time of my life,” said Rubenstein, “My Olympic qualification is confirmed and I am really enjoying all the racing after all the grind of training, training, training over the past few years”.

Ruby, as he is known in canoeing circles, presented his 200 m gold medal to U10 KZN Champion Guppy paddler, James Horner, with some words of encouragement.

Rubenstein, an ideal role model to SA’s younger paddlers, is Horner’s sporting hero with pictures adorning many of the youngster’s school book covers.

After two full days of racing, and six of the eight events completed, both the SA boys’ and girls’ championship titles hung on the outcome of the last two 200 m events.

In the final outcome, KZN’s stars, Vicky Chiazzari and Stuart Waterworth, won the day with victories in both the K1 and K2 races.

Chiazzari won the girls’ K1 from Western Provinces’ Bianca Beavitt and she and Lindsay Davis took the K2 from Emma Horner and Tory Neal.

Waterworth took the K1 from Ben Biggs and teamed up with Biggs to win the K2.

“At last,” said a delighted Chiazzari who has been battling to break Beavitt’s dominance in their age-group for three years.

Coaching credit for this and many of the other successes had by KZN paddlers in the Championships must go to regional coach Attila Adrovicz and assistant Craig Mustard.

KZN won the Interprovincial Competition convincingly against Gauteng and Western Province

Following the final medal ceremony, the SA Olympic Sprint Team was confirmed along with the SA Federation team to the European World Cup events, the SA U18 Federation Team to the Rhur

Regatta in Bochum, Germany, and the SASSU team to the World University Championships.

The SASSU team is still subject to ratification by Canoeing South Africa and SASSU. The three-day Championships were also the trials for an U23 Federation team to the Rhur Regatta, which will be announced shortly.

While the senior paddlers can now settle to the task of preparing for their overseas commitments, the juniors have one hurdle to jump in the form of the 14th SA Schools Sprint Championships, which take place at the same venue from this Friday to Sunday. This event will also be the trial for an U16 team to accompany the U23s and U18s to the Rhur Regatta.

Results

Victrix Ludorum: Senior Women:

1. Jen Hodson GA 89.5; 2. Bridgette Hartley GA 84.5, 3. Nicola Mocke WP 67.

U21 Women:

1. Tiffany Kruger KZN 43.5; 2. Kelly Howe KZN 29.5; 3. Abie Adie KZN 22.

Women 35+:

1. Hilde Lapere EC 25.5; 2, Anna Clifford-Arwidi GA 19.5; 3. Merrill King KZN 9.

Girls U18:

1. Vicky Chiazzari KZN 92; 2. Bianca Beavitt WP 85.5; 3. Lindsay Davis KZN 62.

Victor Ludorum: Senior Men:

1. Shaun Rubenstein GA 107.5; 2. Michael Arthur KZN 65.5; Nic Burden GA 57.

U21 Men:

1. Cam Schoeman KZN 65; 2. Nic Stubbs KZN 59; 3. Brent Chiazzari KZN 46.5.

Boys U18:

1. Stuart Waterworth KZN 102; 2. Grant van der Walt GA 88; 3. Ben Biggs KZN 82.

Sub Veteran Men: Wayne Wilson KZN.

Veteran Men: Attila Adrovicz KZN.

Sub Master Men - Bart Fokkens KZN.

Master Men: Peter Duncan KZN

Sub Grand Master Men: Colin Burden KZN.

Grand Master Men: Roelof van Riet WP

C Class: Calvin Mokoto GA.

Full results can be found at the Canoeing South Africa website www.canoesa.org.za

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