South Africa’s senior kayak champion, Esti van Tonder, earned her first international medal at the 2021 ICF Canoe-Kayak World Cup 2 in Barnaul, Russia.
Van Tonder earned silver in the women’s K1 event after putting in a strong challenge from one of the outside lanes.
Portugal’s Joana Vasconcelos managed to hold on for a nail-biting win crossing the line in a time of one minute and 56 seconds (1:56.183), while van Tonder finished in 1:56.218, serving as a consolation prize after she missed out on Olympic qualification.
Van Tonder has remained upbeat, despite falling short of representing South Africa in Tokyo.
“The road to Tokyo was a long gravel road with plenty of unexpected turns, twists, bumps and occasional bolders falling from the sky!” she shared on her Instagram page.
“Sadly, today the road has come to an end. Tokyo will not happen. Thank you to everyone who’s been supporting, routing, praying, fainting and really trying to understand my journey with me! It’s special to have so many people in my life!”
Photo 1 Caption: South Africa’s senior kayaking champion, Esti van Tonder, pictured at the 2021 ICF Canoe-Kayak World Cup 2 in Barnaul, Russia. Photo: Esti van Tonder (Instagram)
Photo 2 Caption: Esti van Tonder pictured on the podium after earning a silver medal at the 2021 ICF Canoe-Kayak World Cup 2 in Barnaul, Russia. Photo: Esti van Tonder (Instagram)