The veteran and masters age group paddlers opened Team South Africa’s account by racking up ten medals on the opening day of the ICF Canoe Marathon Masters World Championships in Shaoxing, in China.
Despite fielding a smaller than usual team to the annual prelude to the marathon world championships proper, the age-group men and women claimed four gold medals, three silvers and three bronze medals.
South Africa clinched its first gold medal in the opening race of the K1 programme when Nicholas Oldert claimed the win in the men’s K1 60-64 age category, finishing nearly a minute ahead of Belarusian Siarhei Yashyn in second and fellow South African Chris Visser in third.
“My mail opposition today Siarhei (Yashyn) was really strong on the water today so fortunately we had portages,” Oldert said. “I managed to get away on the portage but he chased me the whole race. Luckily for me the grind kept him off!”
The next gold medal for Team South Africa came from Charles Howard in the men’s 75-79 age category and that result was followed closely by Alex Roberts’ silver in the men’s 35-39 age bracket.
Lis Hart won South Africa’s only women’s medal on day one of the competition when she won an end-sprint for the women’s 50-54 age category gold medal.
South Africa dominated the men’s 55-59 age group C Boat race with Radoslaw Olszewski and Andrzej Lenartowski winning the gold and silver medal respectively.
Colin Wilson bagged himself a bronze medal in the men’s 55-59 K1 race. Speaking after the showdown he said he was happy with his medal after a hard battle on the water.
“We started with the 35-39 age group and the Australian guy got away with them,” Wilson said. “I just missed the bunch and burnt a lot of matches to try and catch them.
“After the second portage my boat had a bit of water in it and I didn’t have much left so the Spanish guy who always beats me got away.
“I had a ding-dong battle with one of the Aussie guys and it was pretty close in the end!”
South Africa was not done yet and in the men’s 50-54 K1 showdown they bagged another two medals. Silver went to Gustav Radloff and bronze went to the other Gustav, Gustav Smook.
Tuesday’s action will see the Masters World Championship’s shift to K2 racing across both men’s, women’s and mixed categories.
For more information visit www.canoesa.org.za
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – ICF Canoe Marathon Masters World Championships, Shaoxing China Day One
Men’s K1 60-64
1.Nicholas Oldert (RSA) 1:33:10
2.Siarhei Yashyn (BLR) 1:34:04
3.Chris Visser (RSA) 1:38:38
Men’s K1 75-79
1.Charles Howard (RSA) 1:45:25
Men’s K1 35-39
1.Julian Alganaras (ARG) 1:26:03
2.Alex Roberts (RSA) 1:26:14
3.Carlos Pedriera (ESP) 1:27:29
7.Loveday Zondi (RSA) 1:35:43
8.Waldo van der Linde (RSA) 1:37:07
Men’s K1 55-59
1.Brett Greenwood (AUS) 1:26:53
2.Francisco Vazques (ESP) 1:27:30
3.Colin Wilson (RSA) 1:29:34
Women’s K1 50-54
1.Lis Hart (RSA) 1:20:51
2.Daniela Torre (AUS) 1:20:58
3.Nadya Mikhailova (RUS) 1:24:18
Men’s C1 55-59
1.Radoslaw Olszewski (RSA) 1:23:04
2.Andrzej Lenartowski (RSA) 1:55:11
Men’s K1 45-49
1.Michael Leverett (AUS) 1:24:53
2.Bernado Sanchez (ESP) 1:25:!6
3.Tomas Jezek (CZE) 1:25:52
6.Luke Symons (RSA) 1:27:26
9.Matthew Ballenden (RSA) 1:34:12
Men’s K1 40-44
1.Peter Egan (IRL) 1:25:04
2.Jesus Rodriguez (ESP) 1:25:14
3.Jorge Ferrier (URU) 1:27:17
8.Ernest van Riet (RSA) 1:30:54
Men’s K1 50-54
1.Brett McDonald (AUS) 1:26:29
2.Gustav Radloff (RSA) 1:27:30
3.Gustav Smook (RSA) 1:27:42