Durban – Team South Africa’s veterans and masters have paved a golden pathway for the rest of the weekend’s canoe marathon action in Győr, Hungary after the age group aces claimed three golds, three silvers and two bronze medals on Wednesday’s opening day of the ICF Canoe Marathon Masters Cup.
The age group event precedes the much-anticipated 2015 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships that takes place from Friday to Sunday and, with a largest ever combined South African team to attend the Masters Cup and World Champs, Team SA has high hopes for their Hungarian assignment.
Wednesday’s K1 action started on a positive note early on when Marion Young claimed gold in the K1 Women 40-44 event before having her golden efforts replicated a little while later by Women 50-54 flyer Lis Hart.
Lee McGregor once again showed his remarkable paddling abilities when he surged to yet another Masters Cup victory in the K1 Men 50-54 race despite in fact qualifying to compete in the 60-64 age category.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my race!” said Young afterwards. “The river flow made it challenging upstream but it also created chances to make amends downstream.”
“The turns were tricky in the flow but all in all it was great racing!” she added.
The female contingent continued to sparkle for the South African outfit as Hilde Lapere and Mary Burton then claimed silver in their respective K1 Women 55-59 and K1 Women 60-64 events.
Bruce Wenke’s second place and Nicolas Oldert’s third in the K1 Men 55-59 then added heftily to the medal tally after a bronze medal effort by Men’s 65-69 competitor Brian Longley had already completed the colour set for Team SA.
“It’s great to see South Africa so well represented and in the medals on a tough course with determined European competition!” said Young. “It was a good day for our masters!”
When the start of the junior, under-23 and senior Worlds gets underway on Friday, many will hope the highly sought-after elite podium positions will again be occupied by familiar South African faces with five time world champion Hank McGregor (Jeep Team/Kayak Centre) already occupying much of the pre-championships limelight as he looks to defend both the men’s K1 and K2 titles he won last year.
For now though the focus remains on the Masters Cup as the South African stars look to continue their day one momentum into Thursday’s K2 clashes.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS – ICF CANOE MARATHON MASTERS CUP
K1 (SA RESULTS ONLY)
5.Ernest van Riet 1:37.56
6.Louw van Riet 1:40.03
11.Nicholas Longley 1:48.58
5.Dave Hamilton Brown 1:40.40
1.Marion Young 1:38.08
7.Gustav Smook 1:48.50
1.Lee McGregor 1:39.08
13.Pierre Schweyer 1:45.03
14.Colin Wilson 1:45.50
21.Anton Fouche 1:53.20
1.Lis Hart 1:44.01
2.Bruce Wenke 1:24.27
3.Nicolas Oldert 1:24.29
10.Chris Visser 1:30.54
13.Linton Hope 1:31.14
15.James Earl 1:34.23
2.Hilde Lapere 1:41.16
5.Katarzyna Lapacz 1:55.32
13.Enslin van Riet 1:42.50
2.Mary Burton 1:51.07
3.Brian Longley 1:31.07
6.Richard Venniker 1:36.30
7.Christian van den Berg 1:37.35
15.Johan van Rooyen 1:49.46
20.Steve Jourdan 1:53.55
8.Willem van Riet 1:51.17