As the international paddling season continues along at a furious speed, Team South Africa’s twelve-person strong team will do battle with the world’s best junior paddlers at the 2022 Olympic Hopes Regatta in Bratislava from 8-11 September.
For a number of the team this will be their first taste of international competition and to be able to face the best paddlers in the world in their age group will be an experience that they will remember as they forge a career in sprint paddling.
The South African team has assembled two K4 boats, one each in the men’s and women’s division, which is in line with Canoeing South Africa’s push to create a crew boat culture in paddling in the country.
The racing will be thick and fast for the South African team as paddlers have been entered across the U15, U16 & U17 age categories across the four days of racing starting on Thursday.
Canoeing South Africa Sprint Chair and manager of the team in Bratislava Jodie Ellinor-Dreyer is looking forward to seeing how the team fare on the international stage.
“It is great that we are able to send a team to Olympic Hopes as it provides our young and budding athletes with invaluable international race experience and helps develop & build our pipeline of paddlers for future events,” she said.
“We wish all the paddlers every success with their racing endeavours.”
President of Canoeing South Africa Kim Pople is equally excited to see the team in action and hopes that this is a first step in a long career in the sport.
“This first taste of international competition for some of them will hopefully ignite a fire in them to continue to chase the sprinting dream,” Pople said.
“We’ve got an exciting team at the Olympic Hopes and we want them to enjoy their experience and make sure that they take in as much as they can and hopefully set up friendships with paddlers from other countries along the way.”
Team South Africa – 2022 Olympic Hopes
Kayla Szalay (K1 1km, K1 500m, K1 200m, K4 200m, K4 500m), Amy Duffett (K1 1km, K1 500m, K1 200m, K2 1km, K2 500m, K2 200m, K4 200m, K4 500m), Nina Callebaut (K1 1km, K1 500m, K4 200m, K4 500m), Kerry Elliott (K1 200m, K2 1km, K2 500m, K2 200m, K4 200m, K4 500m).
Bruno Cochrane (K1 1km, K1 500m, K1 200m, K2 500m, K2 200m), Cody Stallard (K1 1km, K2 1km, K2 500m, K2 200m, K4 200m, K4 500m), Jordan Klopper (K1 500m, K1 200m, K2 500m, K2 200m), Theo Dreyer (K1 1km, K1 500m, K1 200m, K2 500m, K2 200m), Nicholas Erwee (K1 1km, K1 500m), Sibongeleni Mzimba (K1 1km, K1 200m, K4 200m, K4 500m), Tyde Malherbe (K1 500m, K1 200m, K2 1km, K2 500m, K2 200m, K4 200m, K4 500m), Lungelo Gumede (K1 500m, K1 200m, K2 500m, K2 200m, K4 200m, K4 500m)