McGregor blitzes to fourth world K1 title

2014-09-29 00:00

OKLAHOMA CITY — Hank McGregor blitzed to a fourth world K1 title on a Saturday that saw Team SA grab two gold medals at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships on the Oklahoma River.

McGregor never lost control of the Senior men’s K1 race and was comfortable to bide his time in third heading into the final turn. With 200 metres to go, McGregor swung out to the right and produced a devastating end-sprint that left the other three paddlers reeling in his wake.

So totally dominant was this coup de grâce that he was able to stop paddling to salute the large vocal contingent of South African supporters on the bank, and then threw his paddle away in celebration as he crossed the line.

Spanish ace Ivan Alonso took the silver medal and Portugal’s Josa Ramalho the bronze medal.

“It was a very tactical race,” said McGregor afterwards. “The best paddlers in the world were there, and everyone had a good idea of everyone’s strengths and weaknesses. There was a lot of jostling, a lot of tactics, a lot of testosterone all thrown into a gladiators’ pit and you just hope you are the one that comes out on top.

“For me, it was a case of going around trying to limit the mistakes, conserve energy and wait for when it really counts, he said.”

McGregor dedicated the win to his newborn son Thorsten and wife Pippa, who had watched the race via live streaming at their home in Ballito.

Earlier in the day, the unheralded crew of Maritzburg College ace Louis Hattingh, who won the bronze medal in the U18 Boys K1 race on the first day of competition, and 15-year-old Michaelhouse sprinter Jean van der Westhuizen secured the first world title for team South Africa in a thrilling U18 Boys K2 race.

The duo were a dominant force throughout the race and regularly asserted themselves on the portages.

They led out of the last portage and raced away to win going away from two strong Hungarian crews.

The South African Junior girls crew of Julia Trodd and Gerda Smit finished fourth after leading the second bunch for much of the race.

In the senior women’s K1 race, Olympic bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley finished 10th, just ahead of former compatriot and doubles partner Michele Eray, who was paddling for the United States.

The competition concludes on Sunday with the K2 senior races.


K2 Men Juniors

1 Louis Hattingh/Jean van der Westhuizen RSA 1:32:55.103

2 Oliver Gergely/Matya S Koleszar HUN 1:32:59.839

3 Antal Vidakovich/Peter Freistak HUN 1:33:38.715

4 Mads Brandt Petersen/Anders Thor Lundberg DEN 1:33:39.263

5 Tomas Vesely/Filip Skladal CZE 1:34:46.249

K2 Women Juniors

1 Noemi Lucs/Dara Solyom HUN 1:26:26.376

2 Tamara Takacs/Noemi Pupp HUN 1:26:29.864

3 Katrine Graesoll Christensen/Cathrin Rask DEN 1:26:35.752

4 Julia Trodd/Gerda Smit RSA 1:30:17.234

5 Irene Martin Vizcaino/Isabel Lopez Pinos ESP 1:30:36.736

K1 Women Senior

1 Renata Csay HUN 2:05:25.253

2 Lizzie Broughton GBR 2:05:27.733

3 Anna Koziskova CZE 2:06:14.321

4 Kristztina Bedocs SRB 2:07:12.343

5 Kate Leverett AUS 2:07:23.203

10 Bridgitte Hartley RSA 2:11:53.781

11 Michele Eray USA 2:11:54.645

K1 Men Senior

1 Hank McGregor RSA 2:12:07.157

2 Ivan Alonso ESP 2:12:12.181

3 Josa Ramalho POR 2:12:15.389

4 Cyrille Carre FRA 2:12:20.597

5 Javier Ruiz ESP 2:12:51.275

6 Jasper Mocké RSA 2:13:00.489

7 Keith Moule GBR 2:14:06.521

8 Adrian Boros HUN 2:14:10.609

9 Andreas Ihle GER 2:14:19.443

10 Edward Rutherford GBR 2:14:21.151

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