Nagle dam plays host to SA sprint Kayak Championships as Stubbs, Hartley shine in K1

2010-04-19 00:00

NAGLE DAM — Friday saw the picturesque setting of Nagle Dam playing host to the 1 000 m Men’s K1, K2 and K4 events, and the 500 m Women’s K1, K2 and K4 events on the opening day of the SA Sprint Kayak Championships.

The biggest surprise of the day came in the Men’s K1 1 000 m final, when Shaun Rubenstein had to settle for the bronze medal, six seconds off the blistering pace set by Nick Stubbs and Len Jenkins, who claimed gold and silver respectively. Rubenstein has been focusing on the new Olympic 200 m sprint distance, and is not on form over the 1 000 m distance due to the technicalities of training for both distances.

The Men’s K2 1 000 m final made for great racing, with the crew of Stuart Waterworth and Cam Schoeman narrowly beating Stubbs and Jenkins.

In the K4 racing, the newly formed team of Western Cape and Gauteng paddlers Chrisjan Coetzee, PW Basson, Fouché van Tonder and Gavin White surprised the infinitely more experienced KZN boat of Martin van den Bergh, Gregor Martin, Stuart Maclaren and Frans Smit, to claim the win in the Men’s 1 000 m final.

In the ladies’ K1 500 m final, Bridgitte Hartley and Jen Hodson were a cut above the rest, in first and second position respectively, five seconds ahead of Tiffany Kruger.

Hodson’s performance was particularly impressive, as she only returned to sprint training after competing in the 2010 Dusi Canoe Marathon, and she has been focusing her training on the 200 m.

CSA general manager Graham Bird was happy with the day’s racing, saying: “It is exciting to see the rising standards in sprint canoeing in South Africa.

“Where there would normally be one standout performance, there are now a lot more athletes fighting for first place. I feel that this is a good indication that the CSA High Performance programme, which is funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, is on the right track”.

CSA High Performance programme co-ordinator Greg van Heerden was similarly enthusiastic about the athletes’ results: “The squad is looking good heading towards the Olympics. This trial showed that the squad has lifted their game, and will hopefully continue to lift their game heading towards the Olympic trials next year.”

Men’s 1 000 m K1 final: 1. Nick Stubbs 3:33.94; 2. Len Jenkins 3:34.47; 3. Shaun Rubenstein 3:40.18

Women’s 500 m K1 final: 1. Bridgitte Hartley 1:52.26; 2. Jen Hodson 1:53.51; 3. Tiffany Kruger 1:58.36

Women’s K2 500 m: 1. Bridgitte Hartley and Michele Eray 1:46.09; 2. Tiffany Kruger and Michelle Eder 1:48.09; 3. Rochelle van Coller and Esti van Tonder 1:52.08

Men’s K2 1 000 m: 1. Stuart Waterworth and Cam Schoeman 3:12.82; 2. Len Jenkins and Nick Stubbs 3:13.54; 3. Grant van der Walt and Matt Bouman 3:17.39

Men’s K4 1 000 m: 1. Coetzee, Basson, van Tonder, White 2:53.82; 2. van den Bergh, Martin, Maclaren, Smit 2:59.88; 3. Eberle, Theron, Burgess, De Klerk 3:08.85

Men’s C1 1 000 m: 1. Calvin Mokoto 4:25.73; 2. Radoslaw Olsezewski 4:26.53; 3. Michael Ngwenya 4:36.53

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