Hartley Bags Victrix Ludorum at SA Canoe Champs

Bridgitte Hartley starred at the South African Sprint Canoeing Championships on the weekend at Nagle Dam, as the Olympic bronze medallist ticked all the boxes in her long term strategy aimed at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Hartley comfortably won the Senior Victrix Ludorum title after a weekend of winning all her K1 races and also contesting several K2 finals against a field that showed plenty of highly competitive talent coming through the ranks.

She pronounced herself satisfied with her form at this stage in the season. “I have had a really good build-up season and off-season, in the swimming pool and skiing. I have been working a lot harder in the gym and challenging myself more, so so-far-so-good. I am really looking forward to the serious racing season.”

“I was hoping to try and break my 1 minute 52 second time from the KZN Champs a few weeks ago because the conditions were pretty much the same. But I know that when it comes to the international season I will be able to push myself harder. I saw that in the 200m final with Timea.”

Hartley was put under pressure in that 200m K1 final by Hungarian ace Timea Paksy, who has relocated to South African with plans to qualify for the Rio 2016 Games for South Africa.

“As far as women’s racing in South Africa is concerned, Timea being here is a big boost for the sport,” said Hartley. “She is a natural 200m racer and I understand that she is here to race in a K4, which is good news.”

Under 23 stars Kerry Segal and Jenna Ward took the second and third places on the overall women’s points table, Segal just edging out Ward to take the women’s U23 title, with Donna Hutton taking the girls honours from Julia Trodd and emerging Cape star, Julia van der Westhuysen.

“It was a great weekend of racing,” reflected Hartley. “I was worried that sprints was dying but the standard of racing, the competitiveness amongst the juniors and the vibe was fantastic.”


Leading Results at the SA Sprint Canoeing Champs, at the Nagle Dam on Sunday, 6 April, 2014:
Senior Women:
1. Bridgitte Hartley KZN 72.5
2. Kerry Segal KZN 48.0
3. Jenna Ward VAR 46.0
4. Brittany Petersen KZN 39.5
5. Esti van Tonder ACA 36.0
6. Tiffany Kruger ACA 32.0
7. Melanie van Niekerk MIL 23.5
8. Hayley Arthur KIN 20.5
9. Timea Paksy ACA 16.0
U23 Women:
1. Kerry Segal KZN 48.0
2. Jenna Ward VAR 46.0
3. Brittany Petersen KZN 39.5
4. Esti van Tonder ACA 36.0
5. Melanie van Niekerk MIL 23.5
U18 Girls:
1. Donna Hutton KZN 58.5
2. Julia Trodd KZN 52.5
3. Julia van der Westhuysen WCCU 41.0
4. Kayla de Beer KZN 32.0
5. Nicole Smith DAB 27.0
6. Nokhanya Shange UMZ 14.0
7. Mea Stiglingh KZN 14.0
8. Kelly Biljoen CRU 10.0
9. Christie MacKenzie KZN 0.0
10. Emma Gultig KIN 0.0

Photo caption: Olympic medallist Bridgitte Hartley retained her national Victrix Ludorum title at the South African Sprint Canoeing Champs at Nagle Dam, on Sunday, 6 April, 2014. Photo: Hannes van der Westhuyzen/Gameplan Media


(With editing by gsport)

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