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Tiffany takes off on her World Cup campaign

By Mark Etheridge

While our 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley’s World Cup season has been prematurely poxed by injury, her fellow London Olympian, Tiffany Kruger, heads off to Europe on Monday for the three World Cup events.

Hartley has been laid low by chicken pox and will only compete in the last World Cup event.

Kruger, like Hartley, from KwaZulu-Natal has had no such worries and is looking forward to giving her all in Europe.

Although she didn’t make her mark in London, Kruger has already been earmarked for the 2016 Olympics in Rio and is no stranger to the World Cup scene.

“I’ve been to the World Cups for the last four years, the first one was in a K4 and the next few I raced in a K2 with Jen Theron (ne├® Hodson). We placed sixth in the 500m B final and with Michelle Eder also sixth in the 500m B final as well as eighth in the 1000m A final.

“Both combinations were great and we were able to get good results. Last year was my first year racing in a K1 at the World Cups so it was a huge learning curve for me and my results were not great but I am looking forward to racing this year.”

Certainly things have changed since London 2012, she told Road to Rio 2016. “My training has changed tremendously since the OG; it was revitalising and gave me a desire to train my heart out. I have a new approach to training and I am using a variety of different training methods to improve my technique, strength and speed.

“I have a gym instructor Devon Daniels who builds my gym programs and integrates the correct simulated exercises into my program, Markus Melk is the new South African national coach and he provides me with my paddling programmes which have changed drastically since last year as well as my father Gordon Kruger who spends every session with me critiquing my technique and helping me to improve and get faster (he has a great eye for technical aspects and great ideas for improvements).

In terms of racing, Kruger hasn’t been all that active since London but that hasn’t bothered her. “I have only raced nationally since the Olympic Games but it has been good ÔÇô my fitness is at a new level and my times have definitely improved and at this pace 2016 is looking prosperous.

“I won the 200m k1 at the SA trial which were held at Vanderkloof Dam and I am happy to have been selected for the SA team for the World Cups in Hungary and Czech.”

She’s also been doing a fair bit of cross-training to up her game wherever she can. “Yes I did race at lifesaving champs this year as I decided to add as much variety as possible to my training and mix it up a little. It was a lot of fun and I even got selected as Reserve for the SA team to Japan this year and I am part of the High Performance squad.

“I also raced the Varsity College Marine Surf ski Series at the beginning of the year and won the ladies division overall in the series. I have loved going back to my roots and having some fun in the sea.”

As for World Champs which follow the World Cups, that’s not yet decided.

“I’ve not yet qualified for World Champs as we are only allowed one athlete per discipline at World Champs, World Cups or a trial prior to World Champs will determine which athlete is selected.

“I’ve put my head down and have set goals that I am working towards so far I am on track, I have an amazing family whom support me 100% as well as a great agent (Fetish Media and Marketing )who look after my athlete needs and who have helped get some awesome sponsors behind me (Oakley, Skullcandy, Whispbar, NatureZone water).

“It just makes life a hell of a lot easier as an athlete having these people behind you, people who believe in you, and know you have the potential, determination and desire to do it.”


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