A team of two South African paddlers will take on the world’s best at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships starting in Halifax, Canada on Wednesday.
No stranger to the world stage Esti Olivier will be joined by sprint world’s rookie Mark Keeling for the event from 3-6 August as the cycle heading into the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris continues.
Olivier will be contesting the shorter sprint race with her taking part in the K1 200m and K1 500m races while Keeling will opt for the longer events.
The former surfski star will focus on the K1 1000m and the K1 5000m events with both paddlers set to compete on the first day of racing.
It’s the K1 500m heats for Olivier and for Keeling he will be racing in the K1 1000m heat.
The small team for the World Championships is due to the cost of travelling to Canada but President of Canoeing South Africa Kim Pople, she wants the two paddlers to show what they can do on the international stage.
“We are wishing Esti and Mark all the best and it’s a first international sprint regatta for Mark so we don’t know what to expect,” Pople said.
“For Esti it’s an important championships to see how she is going one year out from the Olympic qualifiers next year in Duisburg.
“With the time difference the racing is going to be at night for us but we will be right behind them supporting.”