Fish River: McGregor has ‘unfinished business’

2012-09-29 00:00

CRADOCK — After being controversially dumped out of the defence of his world marathon championship title in Rome, Hank McGregor is sizing up the SA K2 champs at the Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon in Cradock. It is the ideal opportunity to erase the nightmare of his disqualification and win the one K1 title that has eluded him.

“I have come home with mixed emotions and not much to show for all the hard work I put into my training,” said McGregor. “I am hugely disappointed. It is such an anti-climax. Thank goodness I have something that I can channel my energies into to deal with that.

“The Hansa Fish K1 title is the one major K1 title that I have not won and I would love to tick that box,” said the Team Best 4 Kayak Centre captain. “Len Jenkins owns the K1 race and even though I have caught him with K2 wins, I really want to bag the K1 title as well.”

Jenkins will be acutely aware of the danger posed by a Hank McGregor licking his wounds, and will also have to deal with the challenges of disqualification disappointment and recovering from the travel back from Europe to be in top form for the start at Grassridge dam.

“There is a real sense of unfinished business going into the Hansa Fish, which I think will make for a great race,” said McGregor.

“What happened in Rome I blame squarely on the course that was set up for the event.

“At least at the Fish River there won’t be any disqualifications on the portages,” he chuckled.

The controversial disqualification of McGregor and Jenkins from the K1 senior men’s race is still reverberating around the canoeing world, with howls of outrage over the apparently selective prosecution of the two South Africans and the refusal to consider equally strong evidence on other paddlers at the front of the race.

“It is still going on, but it is something that I have to put behind me now and focus on something a lot more positive next weekend,” said McGregor.

The Hansa Fish Canoe Marathon takes place in Cradock on October 5 and October  6, and will decide the SA K1 River Championships.

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