Olympian Hartley gets ready to head for Europe | SASCOC - SASCOC

Olympian Hartley gets ready to head for Europe

By Mark Etheridge

Our Olympic bronze medallist, Bridgitte Hartley is gearing up for her 2013 World Cup campaign in Europe.

Hartley, who took third in canoeing’s K1 500-metre sprint final, has been a busy woman since her return and has even found time to swim the Midmar Mile in her home province of KwaZulu-Natal.

“I swam the Midmar Mile for pink drive with the Seals’ London Olympics team. We were all competitors there and I was the only non-swimmer, with Kerry Ann Payne (UK), Darion Townsend and Katinka Hosszu (Hungary). I did swimming as cross-training from November to the end of January so I wasn’t too bad!

“And I also helped at the Dusi Canoe Marathon and attended the awards evening for Cosmopolitan’s 20 SA Fun Fearless Females at the end of February. That was a great award to receive.”

When she hasn’t been helping or swimming, Hartley’s been hard at work with her European season in mind. With this in mind they put in some good work on the KZN south coast. “My coach Nandor [Almasi] was in SA with some Austrians in February so we were down in in Port Alfred. It was a good camp and nice to get some technique guidance from the best again to ensure that I’m paddling well.”

Her next big competitive date comes in April. “We’ve got national trials in the middle of April and then I’ll travel to Europe a few days after trials to prepare for the World Cup Circuit.”

The Cup circuit takes in Szeged in Hungary, Racice (Czech Republic) and then Poznan in Poland.

“That will take me until the beginning of June when I come back home,” said Richard’s Bay’s blonde blitz.