After solid performances in their qualifying event earlier in the year, Pierre van der Westhuyzen and Lizzie Conradie have both been selected for the South African team to take part in the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina form 6-18 October.
Van der Westhuyzen and Conradie ended the event as the best placed African paddlers which helped in their selection for the national team. They took part at the Youth Games qualifier in Barcelona with Khwanda Mzolo, who unfortunately didn’t qualify.
This year’s games will be the third Youth Olympic Games that South Africa will be sending a team to and they will be competing across 19 of the 33 sporting codes.
Canoeing South Africa president Kim Pople is excited to see how the pair get on on the greatest sporting stage that they have encountered.
“CSA is delighted to see that two paddlers have been selected for the South African team for the Youth Olympic Games,” Pople said. “They have both been working incredibly hard since they returned from the qualifiers in Barcelona and it has been a long haul for them.
“We are incredibly excited to see how they perform on the international stage and use what they learnt in Barcelona and take that forward into this competition.
“We wish them well as they count down the weeks until they depart and let’s see how they manage over there as they start their international careers.”
The racing at the Youth Olympic Games takes on a different format to the traditional Olympics with paddlers taking part in a head-to-head sprint event and then a flat-water obstacle slalom course.
This is very different from the traditional nine-lane sprint courses and river or artificial slalom courses.
The canoeing heats will take place on 12, 13 while the finals will happen on 15 and 16 October.