Joining forces

2008-06-12 00:00

DUISBURG (Germany) — Following last weekend’s showdown in Szeged that settled the tussle between ace national sprint canoeists Jen Hodson and Bridgitte Hartley for the solitary women’s 500 metre K1 berth at the Beijing Olympics, Hartley will team up in a K2 with Michele Eray at this weekend’s World Cup in Germany.

While crushed by her defeat in the A final of the women’s 500 m K1 race in Hungary last weekend, Hartley has refocused her energy on her partnership with Eray, who is also a key member of the high-flying women’s K4 squad.

“Bridgitte and I have been paddling together in the K2, so it was a logical decision,” said Eray.

“She has already qualified for the Olympics, and it now adds a new dimension to our Olympic dream by adding a serious K2 challenge to the women’s K1 and K4 races.”

The duo have entered the weekend’s Duisburg regatta and hope to get their K2 combination to click at what is widely regarded as the most fiercely competitive sprint regatta in the world.

This weekend’s regatta marks a return to the course where the women’s K4 qualified for the Olympics at last year’s World Championships.

Shaun Rubenstein will also be looking to the Duisburg course to further his Olympic fine-tuning. It was at this venue that he hit the canoeing headlines by medalling in the 3 000 m event as an unknown youngster against some of the world’s best sprinters a few years ago.

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