SA Worlds charge ends with silver lining

The final day of competition at the 2015 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships ended with another medal for Team South Africa as Saturday’s K1 champion Hank McGregor was unable to defend his K2 title with partner Jasper Mocké as they were pipped at the post into second place in an enthralling end sprint to close out a solid showing from the South African contingent once again.

In one of the signature events of the championships the Men’s K2 race was always going to be a tough affair for the South Africa duo’s of McGregor and Mocké as well as Andy Birkett and Greg Louw however the initial pair were the ones that were setting the pace on the front with the Hungarian pair of Adrián Boros and László Solti and the Spanish contingent of Álvaro Fernández and Walter Bouzán.

Speaking after the race Jasper Mocké highlighted a turning point in the race heading into the WardPurchasefinal few kilometres when a mistake at the put in of the last portage cost them.

“We were under a bit of pressure putting in on the last portage,” Mocké mentioned. “We had to go deeper due to the pressure and as we were getting in we took on some water – quite a lot of water!

“I would just like to say that those young guys with that incredible home town support were able to just dig a bit deeper and pull out that extra little bit.”

With just under a kilometre to go the pair put in a massive pull that got them a slight gap going into the final 500 metres however the determination of the Hungarian pair helped them edge the pair from the Republic right at the death.

“With about 800 metres to go we really put everything on the line and managed to get in front and to be honest I thought that they were not going to catch us!

“When you ahead then the finish bouys just seem to get further away, not closer!” Mocké said with a smile at the end.

The pair of Birkett and Louw were in the race for a large portion of the first half however they fell off the chasing bunch and came home in twelfth place overall.

In one of the surprises of the event the young South African K2 of Jenna Ward and Kyeta Purchase produced a performance well beyond their years as they finished fifth in the Women’s K2 event on Sunday.

The two were mixing it up with the top girls for much of the opening lap with a group of four that were fighting it out for the silver and bronze after the Hungarian pair of Bara and Csay pulled away from the group.

The pair of Ward and Purchase, who were racing in the senior women’s race, are only 22 and 16 respectively shows the emerging talent that South Africa is producing.

In the first race of the day two South African pairs took to the Junior K2 race with Mark Keeling and Bailey de Fondaumiere finishing in ninth place whilst Luke Criticos and Thomas Lovemore came in in nineteenth place overall.

2015 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships, Győr – Hungary

Senior Women K2
1.Alexandra Bara/Renáta Csay (HUN) 1:50.43
2.Lenka Hrochová/Anna Koziskova (CZE) 1:51.41
3.Stefania Cicali/Anna Alberti (ITA) 1:52:09
5.Jenna Ward/Kyeta Purchase (RSA) 1:53.38
9.Hayley Arthur/Donna Tutton (RSA) 1:55.54

Junior Men K2
1.Keán Mayer/Erik Petró (HUN) 1:26.23
2.Péter Ács/Csaba Erdőssy (HUN) 1:27.35
3.Luke Harding/Magnus Gregory (GBR) 1:28.00
9.Mark Keeling/Bailey De Fondaumiere (RSA) 1:30.54
19.Luke Criticos/Thomas Lovemore (RSA) 1:36.15

Senior Men K2
1.Adrián Boros/László Solti (HUN)
2.Hank McGregor/Jasper Mocké (RSA)
3.Álvaro Fernández/Walter Bouzán (ESP)
12.Andy Birkett/Greg Louw (RSA) 2:01.36