UKZN scientist wins two golds at canoe championships

2013-10-08 00:00

MONTHS of hard training paid off for University of KwaZulu-Natal animal scientist Dr Marion Young, who triumphed with two gold medals at the 2013 ICF Canoe Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Young (39) who lives in Scottsville, Pieter­maritzburg, qualified for the World Championships after she won the KZN and South African Champs in the sub-veteran category in the K1 (singles) and in the K2 (doubles) categories with her partner Angela Scruby.

Her training regime consisted of endurance type training (about two hours on the dam) interspersed with interval training, from short sprints to the longer speed endurance of up to 10 minutes in length in each interval.

She had been training for 18 months for the Copenhagen event.

Young said the environment was equally intimidating as she went up against incredibly aggressive and competitive contenders. “It becomes more challenging after winning in the last race because they look at you with a target on your back”, she said.

Young said she not only had to bear the chill of the freezing water in northern Europe, but also had to be very fit.

Mental preparedness was also crucial as the race required her to be strategic in her thinking.

“You just have to be very clever and luckily the short sharp burst of speed enables you to stay in the race”, she said.

Young said while top priority in Cogenhagen was to win medals, she was ultimately hoping to encourage more people to participate in the flat water discipline. “We all have a wealth of talent and need only to ignite ourselves to the possibilities of what is achievable,” said Young.

She said she had already started with training for the Vaal River marathon taking place in November. “I’m looking forward to building paces and tapping into my experience as well”, she said.

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