SA Canoeists Esti Olivier and Helen Jansen van Vuuren book their ticket to Paris 2024

Esti Olivier (left) and Helen Jansen van Vuuren have had a successful outing at the African Championships, booking their slots for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games at the Paris 2024 Continental Olympic Qualifier held on Jabi Lake in Abuja, Nigeria, from 23-26 November 2023. Photo: Canoeing SA on Instagram

Esti Olivier and Helen Jansen van Vuuren have qualified South Africa for Paris 2024 after the pair were crowned African champions in the K2 500, while Olivier also won individual gold in the women’s K1 500 at a successful outing at the African Championships, held on Jabi Lake in Abuja, Nigeria, from 23-26 November, 2023.

Olivier has been the standout competitor for South Africa on the international stage this year, just missing out on qualification at the World Championships and other European qualifying events.

“From myself to the five athletes that were at the qualifiers for South Africa, I just salute them. It was not easy. There was a lot of “off the water stuff” going on, so I am just really, really proud that we stuck to the job they had to do.”

Canoeing South Africa President Kim Pople

Pople was understandably ecstatic with the results. “At Canoeing South Africa we are so excited to have qualified two women athletes for the Paris Olympics, at the African Championships and Paris 2024 Continental Olympic Qualifier.

“We stuck together as a team and looked after each other,” said Pople, before adding that the team can now take some time off to “celebrate what is a massive achievement for South African canoeing.” 

With the 2024 Olympics just over six months away, South African sportswomen and teams are booking their tickets to the Games and the canoeists are the latest to add their names to the list. 

“Now the focus switches to the selection process and who will be in those boats. The selection event will take place sometime in March at VLC in Johannesburg, and the sprint committee will then be selecting the team that will go to Paris.

“With four paddlers going to Paris, it will be our biggest team since 2008 that we will be sending to the Olympics for sprinting. Hopefully, this is just the spark that is going to re-ignite the sprint discipline back to its rightful place in South Africa,” said Pople.


Photo caption: Esti Olivier (right) and Helen Jansen van Vuuren have had a successful outing at the African Championships, booking their slots for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games at the Paris 2024 Continental Olympic Qualifier held on Jabi Lake in Abuja, Nigeria, from 23-26 November 2023. Photo: Canoeing SA on Instagram

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