Saskia Hockly opened the Team South Africa medal account at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships on Thursday by winning her second successive Junior Women’s K1 bronze medal.
The Durban-based teenager repeated her performance of twelve months ago in Romania when she finished third behind the powerhouse Hungarian duo of Kata Horvath and Zsofia Szerafin.
“I think it was one of the toughest races of my life,” Hockly said. “I was just getting messed around by those girls and I think the weed also played a big part, getting stuck everywhere – on my nose, on my rudder – it was hard.”
The portage proved to be difficult for many of the paddlers and for Hockly it wasn’t the condition of the portage, it was getting momentum that was hard.
“It wasn’t that I was struggling on the sand; it was that my pumps weren’t working so I had to empty my boat at the start of every portage.
“Then trying to get going on the sand after that is quite tough,” she explained.
Hockly managed to get herself ahead of Sweden’s Ella Richter on the final portage which guaranteed her the bronze medal ahead of Great Britain’s Greta Roeser.
Earlier in the day Jenna Nisbet turned out in a stacked first heat in the women’s Short Course that included the likes of Vanda Kiszli and Cathrine Rask.
Nisbet ended in seventh in her heat to secure her place in the final, while in the second heat Nikki Birkett finished in third to guarantee herself a spot in the final of the Short Course.
In that final Birkett finished in eighth position, with Nisbet right on her wave in ninth.
In the men’s Short Course heats Uli Hart finished seventh in his heat to advance to the final, while McGregor finished fourth in his heat to book his spot in the final.
The final was dominated by local Fernando Pimenta, who used his fabled sprint speed on his home waters to clinch a popular gold for Portugal from Dane Mads Pedersen.
McGregor edged into third on the final turn but was shaded by Spaniard Ivan Alonso in the final dice to the line to finish fourth.
Live streaming of the races can be found at https://www.canoeicf.com/canoe-marathon-world-championships/ponte-de-lima-2022
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
ICF CANOE MARATHON WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (Day One)
Junior Girls K1
1 Kata Horvath HUN 01:36:23.11
2 Zsofia Szerafin HUN 01:36:31.97
3 Saskia Hockly RSA 01:37:28.61
14 Holly Smith RSA 01:42:33.67
K1 Women Short Race Final
1 Melina Andersson SWE 14:22.83
2 Estefania Fernandez ESP 14:24.79
3 Samantha Rees-Clark GBR 14:29.30
8 Nikki Birkett RSA 14:57.76
9 Jenna Nisbet RSA 15:14.19
K1 Men Short Race Final
1 Fernando Pimenta POR 12:49.12
2 Mads Pedersen DEN 12:49.77
3 Ivan Alonso ESP 13:08.60
4 Hank McGregor RSA 13:09.26
11 Uli Hart RSA 13:35.42