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SA K4 crew in Germany are building for Rio

Our small South African team are ready to take on the globe at the World Sprint Canoe Championships in Duisberg, Germany, writes Mark Etheridge.

A team of five are in action and Tuesday saw the team leader’s meeting and opening ceremony being taken care of.

Bridgitte Hartley, Esti van Tonder, Tiffany Kruger and Kerry Shuter will all be in individual action, as will para-canoeist Stu Hogg.

Team manager is Craig Mustard and he spoke of the new development that sees the return of a K4 crew at these championships.

“The team got together for the first time last week,so the K4 is really ‘fresh’, he told Road to Rio. “They look really smooth and in control but at this stage lack the power of a medal potential boat.

“I really am 100% honest and feel that they can make the top five in the B fFnal right now. This is exactly the same position of our last women’s crew who went on to finish in eighth position in the Beijing Games in 2008.

“Having said this I really do believe that if this crew can stay together till Rio 2016 they are medal potential.. they really just need a lot more time together to work as an effective team boat and only having two weeks together can’t deliver an A fFnal position at this championship. But I would loved to be surprised by the ladies this weekend.

“The boat has loads of drive┬ábuilding to 2016 so I can’t wait to watch them grow as a crew boat.”


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