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Bridgitte back on track

By Mark Etheridge

Europe holds both both fond and frustrating memories for our leading women’s sprint canoeist Bridgitte Hartley as her season starts hotting up.

The plus side was that she managed to get in some valuable cross-training for the upcoming World Cup events mid-year.

Hartley reflected on the somewhat negative aspect of her trip on Tuesday: “I have been doing some training in South Africa and its actually been great for me as I had a horrible month of paddling in February… I really struggled to get back my technique after the skiing and cross-training in Europe in January so it was very frustrating!

“My coach Nandor [Almasi] was out for only three weeks and I was struggling to get a rhythm so I decided to go and spend some time in Richards Bay with my family and train alone to focus on my technique and be with friends for some time out from the focusing on training all the time.”

As matters stand Hartley is feeling positive about her decision. “I think it was a good move but hope the results will show as my cross training base had been a good one from October until end of January. I am now back in Pretoria training at Roodeplaat and at HPC (High Performance Centre] so hope the final preparation goes well.”

What’s next for the powerful paddler? “We have Gauteng Championships on 9 April and then the SA selections are on 3 May. Then I fly out on 4 May for my first World Cup and the World Cup month.”


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