With qualifying for the Olympics and the Paralympics on the line Team South Africa had a mixed bag of results on the second day of the 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships with para-paddler Graham Paull ending fifth in his KL1 A Final whilst golden girl Bridgitte Hartley was unable to qualify for her 500m K1 A Final after finishing fifth in her semi-final on Thursday.
Hartley was fastest in her initial heat and the 2014 World Champs bronze medallist lined up against a very strong field in her semi-final, needing to finish in the top two to be guaranteed of a place in the final, and a shot at automatic qualification for the Rio Games.
Hartley made a sluggish start and was chasing the pack in sixth through the 250 metre marker. The nugget Richards Bay product showed signs of driving through the field as she often does, but was unable to make any headway through the pack as they surged to the line.
In the end she had to settle for fifth place overall and a spot in the B Final.
Going into the semi-final Hartley had said that the pressure was heightened in an Olympic qualifying cycle.
“It’s always good to get the first race (heat) done because I’m always so nervous and especially now in an Olympic qualifying year.
“I didn’t really expect to get a bronze medal last year but I was super chuffed to get that, so I don’t want to put pressure on myself because of that,” she mentioned before her crucial semi-final.
In what was the only final of the day for Team South African Graham Paull ended fifth in the KL1 200m K1 race which capped off a successful World Champs for the Gauteng resident who has all but secured qualification for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
Louis Hattingh came through his 1000m K1 heat in fourth place which qualified him for the semi-final where he finished in a respectable seventh place in his first senior World Championships.
The contingent that went to championships also consisted of two C Boat paddlers, Hosea Seleka and Phillemon Maema. The pair paddled in both the C1 and C2 sections on Thursday and would have learnt huge amounts from their opportunity to take on the best in the world in their category.
The combination will be back in action on Friday with two C2 events as well as a C1 race for Seleka.
In the last semi-final of the day for Team South Africa Esti van Tonder and Tiffany Kruger narrowly missed out on the B Final in the Women’s K2 500m.
In what has been the performance of the championships for South Africa so far Graham Paull was over the moon with his result in the final although he missed out on a podium place.
“It is a dream come true for me!
“I originally was aiming for an A Final but when I qualified for the final I believed I could go faster!” an elated Paull said.
Coach and manager Craig Mustard was happy with the way the team performed on Thursday with a few personal best times and an impressive effort from the young Louis Hattingh.
Having achieved his personal best time in Italy just under a month after he had set it at the Under 23 and Junior Sprint World Championships was a surprise for Hattingh.
“Achieving my personal best here in Italy at the senior World Champs after what I though was my best performance a month ago is exciting and proves that my coaching and coaching team are on the right track.
“I need a day’s rest and will be ready to go when I race in my C Final on Saturday,” a positive Hattingh mentioned.
The 2015 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships will be live streamed on Saturday and Sunday so follow the link here to see the live coverage of the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkVLadxKeNo
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – DAY TWO ICF CANOE SPRINT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS, MILAN, ITALY
Women’s 500m K1 Heat 3
1.Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 1:56.995
2.Sarah Guyot (FRA) 1:57.343 +0.348
3.Zoya Ananchenko (KAZ) 1:59.032 +2.037
Men’s 500m C2 Heat 1
1.Pavel Petrov/Mikhail Pavlov (RUS) 1:42.446
2.Dmytro Ianchuk/Taras Mishchuk (UKR) 1:44.355 +1.909
3.Sergey Yemelyanov/Timofey Yemelyanov (KAZ) 1:46.952 +4.146
8.Hosea Seleka/Phillemon Maema (RSA) 2:07.403 +24.957
Men’s 1000m K1 Heat 5
1.Fernando Pimenta (POR) 3:34.264
2.Murray Stewart (AUS) 3:35.282 +1.018
3.Mohamed Ali Mrabet (TUN) 3:38.242 +3.978
4.Louis Hattingh (RSA) 3:39.196 +4.932
Men’s 1000m C1 Heat 3
1.Attila Vajda (HUN) 3:54.271
2.Serghei Tarnovschi (MDA) 3:56.428 +2.157
3.Dagnis Iljins (LAT) 4:03.328 +9.057
8.Hosea Seleka (RSA) 5:00.534 +66.263
Men’s 200m K2 Heat 5
1.Yury Postrygay/Alexander Dyachenko (RUS) 31.787
2.Erik Svensson/Christian Svanqvist (SWE) 32.253 +0.466
3.Aurimas Lankas/Edvinas Ramanauskas (LTU) 31.516 +0.729
8.Gabriel van Wyk/Louis Hattingh (RSA) 36.284 +4.497
Men’s 200m C1 Heat 1
1.Valentin Demyanenko (AZE) 40.518
2.Lurii Cheban (UKR) 40.912 +0.394
3.Naoya Sakamoto (JPN) 41.170 +0.652
8.Phillemon Maema (RSA) 50.695 +10.177
Women’s 500m K2 Heat 3
1.Karolina Naja/Beata Mikolajczyk (POL) 1:44.426
2.Ivana Kmetova/Martina Kohlova (SVK) 1:45.603 +1.177
3.Franziska Weber/Tina Dietze (GER) 1:45.666 +1.240
6.Esti van Tonder/Tiffany Kruger (RSA) 1:49.509 +5.083
Women’s K1 500m Semi-final 3
1.Anna Karasz (HUN) 1:48.113
2.Yu Zhou (CHN) 1:48.813 +0.700
3.Spela Ponomarenko Janic (SLO) 1:50.060 +1.947
5.Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 1:50.463 +2.350
Men’s K1 1000m Semi-final 4
1.Peter Gelle (SVK) 3:25.589
2.Josef Dostal (CZE) 3:25.609 +0.020
3.Dejan Pajic (SRB) 3:27.505 +1.916
7.Louis Hattingh (RSA) 3:34.595 +9.006
Women’s K2 200m Semi-final 3
1.Elana Anyshina/Kira Stepanova (RUS) 1:39.780
2.Karolina Naja/Beata Mikolajczyk (POL) 1:40.291 +0.511
3.Roxana Borha/Elana Meroniac (ROU) 1:41.566 +1.786
7.Esti van Tonder/Tiffany Kruger (RSA) 1:44.366 +4.586
Men’s KL1 200m Final
1.Luis Cardoso Da Silva (BRA) 50.863
2.Jakub Tokarz (POL) 52.533 +1.670
3.Ferna Fernandes de Padua (BRA) 52.970 +2.107
5.Graham Paull (RSA) 53.790 +2.927