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Van Tonder into B-Final at World Championships

Van Tonder

By Mark Etheridge

South Africa’s Esti van Tonder blasted into the B-Final of the women’s K1 500-m event as the ICF Sprint World Championships got under way in Racice, Czech Republic, on Thursday.

Van Tonder was off in the third of four heats in the morning, where she placed fourth in 1:56.712sec, 1.595sec behind winner Ivana Mladkova of Slovakia.

That was good enough to see her through to the second of the afternoon semi-finals, where she placed fifth in 1:58.131 after a strong second half which saw her move up two places. Her time was 3.239sec behind Russian winner Elena Aniushina.

In order to make the A-Final she would have had to place in the top three.

But the young Pretoria-based paddler is happy for now.

‘What a day of racing, I thoroughly enjoyed it,’ she told Team SA. ‘I feel very confident going into this event as I had a solid build-up from World Cups.

‘The heat went well, I had a good start and a comfortable grind to the finish. This was a big boost for me as I’ve been really focusing on the first 250m of my race.

‘The semi-final is always a hard race. I went out well and had a very solid race all the way to finish, and a B-final at my first Senior World Champs in K1 is great and I’m keen to race it.

‘I’m also very excited to race the 200m to see my improvement in that event.’

Before Saturday morning’s B Final though, she has the 200m K1 heats to worry about on Friday morning. ‘I’m curious to see how my 200m has improved, as I’ve been getting out the blocks faster and speed has been a big focus from World Cups.’

Picture of Van Tonder in World Champs action courtesy of ICF


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