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Hartley misses out on A Final at Sprint World Championships

2015SprintWorldsD2Hartley

By Mark Etheridge

Olympic bronze medallist Bridgitte Hartley had to settle for second best and the B-Final at Thursday’s second day of the Canoe Sprint World Championships in Italy.
The 2012 K1 500-metre third-place finisher, Hartley had her sights set on top two finish in her semi-final and then try and qualify for next year’s Olympics in the final.
And she had looked on course after a comfortable win in the heats but it was not to be as customary strong finish failed to pull her through and she ended fifth. That sees her into Saturday’s B Final.
‘I somehow managed  to get into the toughest semi-final as I finished a close fifth but got a top 10 in overall times.
‘Three other fast girls in the top 10 also didn’t qualify for an A-final. I’m quite sad not to qualify for an A-final especially after having a good season of training with many improvements but in this sport it’s all about split seconds and no room for error! Congratulations to all the girls chasing a medal on Saturday!’
Hartley’s semi-final time was 1min 50.463, a whole six seconds faster than her heat but still not quick enough to seal that spot in the A final as Hungary’s Anna Karasz won in 1:48.113 from China’s Yu Zhou (1:49.813).
Other SA women in action yesterday were Hartley’s fellow Olympian Tiff Kruger and rising young star Esti van Tonder in the K2 500m event. Going off in Heat three they ended sixth in 1:49.509, 5.083 behind Polish winners Karlina Naja and Beata Mikolajczyk.
Then in their semi-final, the third of three they ended seventh in a time of 1:44.366. The summary saw them ending 21st of 27 boats and just missing out on a spot in the B final by split seconds.
Said Pretoria’s Van Tonder: ‘The race went great, we did our personal best and we felt like we raced a really good race it was just a fraction of a second too slow. I really hope we the the opportunity to qualify through Africa Champs. I know we can improve more.’
Also on Thursday, para-paddler Graham Paull had ended fifth in his KL1 200 A Final a result which all but sees him qualifying for next year’s Paralympics.
Van Tonder’s team-mate at the recent world junior and U23 championships, Louis Hattingh ended seventh in this 1000m K1 semi-final. These are his first senior world championships.
C Boat paddlers Hosea Seleka and Phillemon Mahema ended eighth in their C2 heat, clocking 2:07.43. Both were also in action in C1 events, the former over 1000m where he was eighth in 5:00.534 and the latter also eighth over 200m in 50.695.
Friday’s action see Hartley in K1 200m action while Van Tonder and Kruger team up again in the K2 200m division.
Seleka and Mahema also team up over 200 and 1000m in the C2 class while Seleka also has 500m C1 action.
Chrisjan Coetzee takes part in his first event of the championships in the K1 200m event.


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