Hard work earns gold medal for KZN schoolboy paddling champs

2014-09-29 00:00

A GROUP of inspiring KwaZulu-Natal canoeists have shown their mettle representing South Africa at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in Oklahoma City at the weekend.

Durban’s Jenna Ward paddled her way to contest the end-sprint and secured a place on the podium in the women’s Under 23 race.

“I can’t really describe what I am feeling. Even though it is only a bronze it is like a gold to me,” said Ward.

Maritzburg College pupil Louis Hattingh bagged two medals to seal his successful year. Hattingh won plenty of admirers with a courageous second half fightback in the Under 18 Boys K1 race that saw him claiming a bronze medal.

The 18-year-old capped his thrilling performance with a gold medal in the double K2 race with 15-year-old Michaelhouse sprinter Jean van der Westhuizen. Jean had earlier secured the first world title for team South Africa in an adventurous Under 18 Boys K2 race.

Hattingh, a nominee in the Junior Sportsman of the Year Award category at the KwaZulu-Natal Sports Awards in Durban this weekend, said their victory was the result of extensive training.

“It feels great to bring back some medals for the club and the coach. It was a first time to win a gold medal. I worked hard and I am very proud,” Hattingh said.

Coach Craig Mustard said he is proud of his young guns. “Seventy percent of Team SA come from my team and going overseas and getting medals is amazing,” Mustard said.

• khanyisani.dlomo


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