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Hartley holds back

Our leading women’s canoeist, Bridgitte Hartley has delayed her next training trip to Europe and now leaves on Sunday to continue her build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, writes Mark Etheridge.

Hartley, who earned our K1 canoeing slot at the Games, has already completed another training camp recently but it wasn’t exactly her type of weather.

Coming from Richard’s Bay on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast, she’s become accustomed to daily heat and humidity.

“I spent two weeks training in Seville, Spain during March with my coach, two Austrians and two Slovakians,” she told Road to London 2012.

“The weather was not the greatest for me. I felt like it was a bit cold so I didn’t enjoy it much really although the second week was better. But it was still inspiring training around so many athletes from different countries and there was a large group of Hungarians and British kayakers to name just a few.”

With the cold in mind Hartley hung back before her next mission. “I’ve delayed my trip to Europe until Sunday┬á due to the cold weather and now I’ll go for three weeks to Austria before my World Cups start in May.”

“The World Cups are the big events in the approach to London. “The first one is in Poznan, Poland on 18-20 May and the second one in Duisberg, Germany on 25-27 May.”

Then it’s back to South Africa again. “I’ll come back for about two weeks until around 10 June and then head back for a training camp in Austria until the Olympics.”

While in SA she’s been spending some time in Pietermaritzburg. “I did a bit of coaching here last week with some juniors ÔÇô it was fun but a little tiring both training and coaching although I must say the paddling community has been great while training in Pietermaritzburg for me.”

This week saw the 100-days-to-go to the Olympics bash in Gold Reef City, Johannesburg and Hartley’s mind was certainly there. “I had a misty 6am start by paddling with the club members from NCC in Pietermaritzburg! Great way to celebrate 100 days to London 2012″ she said on her Twitter social networking feed.


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