Established and rising stars share the limelight at sprint champs | SASCOC - SASCOC

Established and rising stars share the limelight at sprint champs

While Bridgitte Hartley hurried her way to hordes of medals at the national sprint canoe championships at Roodeplaat Dam at the weekend, she didn’t take all the accolades.
Olympic gold medallist Hartley (her five gold medals comfortably under the belt) was the leading individual scorer with 105.5 points, while junior Donna Hutton, who put up a good showing at the Youth Olympics last year, racked up 100.5 points. Jarryd Gibson picked up 85.5 points in the boys’ under-18 category and Hartley’s boyfriend, Dusi champion Andy Birkett, pictured above, showed his versatility and drive by earning 80 points.
In total the Pietermaritzburg-based Natal Canoe Club (NCC) club recorded 18 wins, 11 second places and five thirds, demonstrating that beyond the leading four paddlers, NCC also had great depth. Included amongst the medal winners was a bronze for NCC Development Team member Sam Phungula, who claimed the club’s first national medal in Canadian (C1) canoeing.
With a very strong High Performance Programme in place, thanks to support from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport and Recreation and a well-equipped gym, thanks to a significant contribution from National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, NCC paddlers have been excelling in every canoeing discipline, and the club’s Development Programme has grown in leaps and bounds, highlighted by Phungula’s third place on the weekend and a fifth place finish for Mfaniseni Nyawose in the Non-Stop Dusi.
NCC General Manager Brett Austen Smith was ecstatic with the results produced by his team and had special praise for the outstanding performances of the junior pair of Donna Hutton and Jarryd Gibson.
‘Donna has really refocused herself since the Youth Olympics and has put in some seriously hard work in the last six months and it paid off,’ Austen Smith said. ‘I am very excited about her results. She has great potential.’
Turning to Gibson, he added: ‘He is also a phenomenon. He really hasn’t done a lot in his career and has put in a lot of work over the last year. He has maybe a year or two left in the junior ranks!’
For the Victor Ludorum, Birkett, who led a 1-2-3 of Euro Steel-sponsored athletes at the Dusi, which was a K1 race this year, it was also enjoyable to be part of a team set-up.
‘It has been nice to be part of a team again in recent weeks, to be part of a group and not making my own training programmes. Certainly there is a lot more fun involved in training and joining a group, so it has been “lekker”. Racing at Roodeplaat, there was a nice team atmosphere and team vibe among the NCC members, and everyone was just happy and jolly,’ he said.
Hartley said the emergence of the talented Hutton excited her because possible successors to her have been few and far between. ‘It’s really exciting to see Donna coming through in only her first year of under-18. She has done a lot of training sessions with us on the water and I’ve done time trials against her and she has really pushed herself to the limit. It was so exciting to see her racing so well, and also she took part in everything. It wasn’t that she was good in one or two events. She was there to race and she enjoyed all of it.’
Birkett concluded: “There is a lot of depth and it was nice to see NCC paddlers taking up all three places on the podium in some categories.’
The focus at NCC now shifts to marathons with the KZN and South African Championships being held on Camps Drift in May and June. The sprint base of the paddlers will be very useful when it comes to the cut-and-thrust tactics required in the marathon discipline.
South Africa’s many world marathon champions, including Andy Birkett and Louis Hattingh, will be on the marathon start line, looking for a place in the South African Team that travels to the marathon mecca of Hungary for the World Championships in September this year.

Picture of Birkett courtesy of Dewald Hattingh/Gameplan Media


200m K1 Finals
1 Chrisjan Coetzee 00:36.22
2 Calven Clack 00:37.25
3 Frans Smit 00:37.52

1 Bridgitte Hartley 00:43.76
2 Esti van Tonder 00:44.06
3 Tiffany Kruger 00:45.49

Boys U18
1 Andreas Beukes 00:39.80
2 Jarryd Gibson 00:40.03
3 Ryno van der Westhuyzen 00:40.12

Girls U18
1 Donna Hutton 00:44.39
2 Kayla de Beer 00:44.92
3 Nicole Smith 00:48.33

Men Para Final
1 Jono Wing 00:46.54
2 Graham Paull 00:56.03
3 Constant Olivier 01:00.01

200m K2 Finals

1 Antony Collopy/Chrisjan Coetzee 00:33.96
2 Benjamin Biggs/Frans Smit 00:34.94
3 Andy Birkett/Bryan Le Roux 00:35.09

1 Tiffany Kruger/ Esti Van Tonder 00:40.74
2 Bridgitte Hartley/Hayley Arthur 00:41.32
3 Brittany Petersen/ Melanie Van Niekerek 00:41.59

Boys U18
1 Thabanimtolo Msiya/Nkosi Msawe 00:40.08
2 Brett Evans/Jarryd Gibson 00:40.24
3 Andreas Beukes/ Ryno Van Der Westhuyzen 00:40.58

500m K1 Finals

1 Andy Birkett 01:44.39
2 Louis Hattingh 01:45.71
3 Ben Biggs 01:47.20

1 Bridgitte Hartley 01:57.14
2 Esti van Tonder 02:00.72
3 Tiffany Kruger 02:01.63

U18 Boys
1 Jarryd Gibson 01:51.51
2 Alex Masina 01:53.81
3 Andreas Beukes 01:54.00

U18 Girls
1 Donna Hutton 02:08.43
2 Kayla de Beer 02:11.22
3 Nicole Smith 02:22.88

500m K2 Finals

1 Bryan Leroux/Andy Brikett 01:39.34
2 Alasdair Glass/Ben Biggs 01:40.22
3 Dewald Hattingh/Louis Hattingh 01:42.59

1 Tiffany Kruger/Esti van Tonder 01:51.52
2 Bridgitte Hartley/Hayley Arthur 01:53.53
3 Brittany Petersen/Melanie van Niekerk 01:56.72

U18 Boys
1 Thabani Msiya/Msawenkosi Mtolo 01:46.82
2 Brett Evans/Jarryd Gibson 01:50.17
3 Ryno van der Westhuyzen/Andreas Beukes 01:51.03

1000m K1 Finals

1 Andy Birkett 03:42.37
2 Louis Hattingh 03:47.21
3 Alasdair Glass 03:52.77

1 Bridgitte Hartley 04:16.49
2 Stephanie Chen (singapore) 04:25.88
3 Kerry Segal 04:29.38

U18 Boys
1 Jarryd Gibson 03:58.33
2 Ryno van der Westhuyzen 03:59.08
3 Alex Masina 04:06.80

U18 Girls
1 Donna Hutton 04:38.79
2 Nicole Smith 05:01.60
3 Sneziwe Gxobole 05:56.31

1000m K2 Finals

1 Dewald Hattingh/Louis Hattingh 03:23.18
2 Alasdair Glass/Alasdair Collopy 03:29.87
3 Bill Lee/Brandon Ooi (Singapore) 03:36.69

1 Esti van Tonder/Tiffany Kruger 03:52.57
2 Bridgitte Hartley/Hayley Arthur 03:55.55
3 Donna Hutton/Kerry Segal 04:03.03

U18 Boys
1 Brett Evans/Jarryd Gibson 03:46.68
2 Thabani Msiya/Msawenkosi Mtolo 03:46.75
3 Ryno van der Westhuyzen/Andreas Beukes 03:47.54

5000m K1 Finals

1 Andy Birkett 23:40.30
2 Louis Hattingh 23:43.38
3 Alasdair Glass 23:56.75

1 Bridgitte Hartley 25:41.91
2 Kerry Segal 25:43.1
3 Hayley Arthur 26:44.39

U18 Boys
1 Siyabonga Tyiki 24:15.17
2 Thomas Lovemore 24:18.15
3 Ryno van der Westhuyzen 24:19.83

5000m K2 Finals

1 Andy Birkett/Louis Hattingh 22:43.94
2 Alasdair Glass/Ben Biggs 22:45.48
3 Gene Prato/Brent Chiazzari 22:48.65

1 Bridgitte Hartley/Donna Hutton 24:33.30
2 Kerry Segal/Julia Trodd 24:33.98
3 Brittany Petersen/Melanie van Niekerk 24:34.73

U18 Boys
1 Thabani Msiya/Msawenkosi Mtolo 23:43.20
2 Thomas Lovemore/Jono Wing 23:44.35
3 Siyabonga Tyiki/Sibusiso Chwayi 23:44.70

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