South Africa’s current premier female sprint paddler Esti Olivier believes that she is moving in the right direction following a strong showing at the recent ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Canada.
Olivier produced her best ever Sprint World Championship results when she raced in North America. She finished ninth in the A Final of the women’s K1 200m and then ended sixth in the final of the 500m B Final.
With a number of challengers for her ahead of the showpiece event, Olivier was over the moon with her performances.
“This has been my best results at a Senior World Championships event to date,” Olivier said. “On top of that, all the drama and stress with logistics, finances and flights just to get to Worlds were so extreme that these results truly speak a thousand words!
“The Canadians are very hospitable people and the vibe in the town and neighbourhood surrounding the course was really awesome!
“The course itself was also really nice and regardless of a strong headwind throughout the regatta, the lanes were all equally affected and sheltered.”
Following an A Final finish at the World Championships, Olivier heads into the final period of preparation before Olympic qualification next year and she believes that she’s on the right track.
“I definitely think my training and shape is moving in the right direction.
“This was the first event after having some long Covid complications that I felt like I was my competitive self again.
“I also believe our training method implemented in the build up to this World Champs was a piece of the puzzle that we finally managed to perfect,” a confident Olivier added.
Olivier will head back to her base in Pretoria and continue to prepare for the 2023 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships in Duisburg. Next year’s event will double up as the Olympic Games qualification event.
“Honestly I’m very happy with every area of my race at the moment. Physically I believe everything is in place and all aspects just need to improve to match that of the global level of racing.
“In a perfect world, more opportunities to race at that international level next year would be greatly beneficial to build confidence and to become comfortable with the pain that you endure when racing at that level.
“I’m focussing a lot in my psychological preparation, constantly testing new methods of dealing with the stress and the nerves, learning to channel those processes in a positive direction,” she added.