Busy Hartley eighth in World Championships final | SASCOC - SASCOC

Busy Hartley eighth in World Championships final

By Mark Etheridge

A brave performance from Olympic bronze medallist saw Bridgitte Hartley end eighth in the final of the women’s K1 500m at the World Sprint Canoe Championships in Duisberg, Germany on Saturday.

Hartley clocked 2min 02.626sec for the final, won by Danuta Kozak of Hungary in 1:57.395 from German Katrin Wagner-Augustin (1:58.300).

The Richard’s Bay athlete shouldn’t be in any way disheartened by her finish in a nine-boat race after a year which saw a bout of chicken pox reduce both her race schedule and training workload.

Team manager Craig Mustard said as much: “I was actually a bit surprised by Bridge making it into the A Final in the 500 because there are some 200m paddlers now filtering into the 500m distance and doing so well. Her up and down year with being sick and not being able to train as hard as as often as she did in the past was also a worry for me.”

As for Hartley, she said afterwards: “Thank you for all the positive energy & wishes for my race today. It was a tough race with good athletes! I had to settle for 8th overall:)”

Earlier Hartley had placed fifth in the K1 200m semi-final, clocking 42.850sec behind Slovenian winner Spela Ponomarenko-Janic’s 40.229, in the third of three semis. That puts her into Sunday’s B-final.

On Friday Hartley had lent a helping hand in the newly formed women’s K4 combination, a boat that shows exciting potential in years to come. They ended sixth in the second of three semi-finals, timed at 1:43.054 and will race Sunday’s B-Final.

Hartley is joined in the boat by fellow London Olympian Tiffany Kruger, Under-23 paddler Esti van Tonder and teenager Kerry Shuter.