Team South Africa grabbed three medals at the African Sprint Championships under way on a blustery Lake Tunis, with schoolgirls Kayla de Beer and Nokhaya Shange the toast of the team after a gutsy victory in their 500m K2 final on Friday, 22 November.
The pair cantered home to clinch the final by an impressive three second margin over their Egyptian challengers, more than atoning for De Beers’ disappointment from her 500m K1 final.
In that outing she battled in the strong gusting winds, and fell out of her kayak. While this robbed her of her shot at another medal, it served to galvanise her and Shange for their K2 final, which they dominated from the gun.
Earlier in the day Pietermaritzburg racer Brittany Petersen locked antlers with Tunisian Olympian Abir Ben Isamail in the women’s 500m K1 final, which the local paddler won in tricky windy conditions, leaving Petersen to add a silver medal to team SA’s medal haul.
Another silver was added in the women’s k2 final when Nombuso Mzolo and Melanie van Niekerk stroked to second place, in their final behind the local sister Afef and Abir ben Isamail.
Summary of Results – Day Two African Canoe Sprint Championships: Junior Women K2 500m Final: 1. Kayla de Beer/Nokhaya Shange (RSA) 2:11.724 2. Mennatalla Hassan Ali/Sama Farouk Ibrahim (EGY) 2:14.827 3. Rahma Ben Chaabene/Rania Znati (TUN) 2:18.010 Womens K1 500m Final: 1. Abir Ben Isamail (TUN) 2:03.921 2. Brittany Petersen (RSA) 2:08.737 3. Kathia Bra (SEN) 2:15.312 Womens K2 500m Final: 1. Abir Ben Isamail/Afef Ben Isamail (TUN) 1:59.789 2. Melanie van Niekerk/Nombuso Mzolo (RSA) 2:13.289 3. Kathia Bra/ Seck Combe (SEN) 2:17.624
More info can be found at www.canoesa.org.za
(With editing by gsport)