As the South African canoe marathon team returns from Romania with four bronze medals, Canoeing South Africa is happy with the progress that has been made by the discipline given the extended absence from international competition due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Women paddlers led the way for Team South Africa accounting for three of the four medals that the team won with young Saskia Hockly winning the bronze in the junior women’s K1 and then winning bronze with Jenna Nisbet in the senior women’s K2.
Christie Mackenzie won bronze in the under 23 women’s K1 race while Uli Hart also won a bronze in the under 23 men’s K1 race.
“To secure four bronze medals in our first international event since 2019 is a fantastic effort,” Canoeing South Africa President Kim Pople said.
“We are really happy with how things went and are really happy with the team, the coaches and the support crews.
“We got a few fourth places as well and there are a number of massive take-aways from the event that are encouraging for us going forward.”
Having returned to international competition for the first time since the disappointing world championships in China in 2019, Pople believes that the marathon discipline in South Africa has a lot to build on going forward.
“We’ve seen how Hungary and Denmark have upped their game in the senior men’s and under 23 categories but we have a lot to look forward to and to challenge us going forward to Portugal next year.
“Our women’s side really led the way for us and that was incredibly exciting and we have a CSA strategic planning board meeting coming up across all disciplines so it’s going to interesting to see the discipline committee chairperson’s feedback and their plans going forward.”
Not only was the marathon team busy, South African canoeing had a busy European summer season and all the international competition can only bode well going forward.
“It was a big year for us with eight international tours with six in the last six weeks so as Canoeing South Africa we are really happy that we got to tour this year and a huge thanks to the tour managers and administrators behind the scenes.
“Well done to everyone that has competed for Team South Africa over the year and we look forward to more exciting competition in 2022,” Pople added.