New world champion heads to South Africa to defend Fish title

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Abby Solms (front) with Czech Republic star Anna Koziskova en route to their victory in the 2013 Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon. Koziskova, better known to locals by her maiden name Anna Adamova, has just won the women’s K1 world marathon championship title in Hungary. John Hishin/Gameplan Media

 

Cradock – Newly crowned women’s K1 marathon world champion Anna Koziskova of the Czech Republic is excitedly preparing for her trip to South Africa where she aims to add the 2015 Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon K2 title to her gold and silver medal haul from the Győr, Hungary global titles decider.

Koziskova, better known to many local paddling fans as Anna Adamova, stunned the ICF Canoe Marathon World Champs by shading women’s marathon icon Renata Csay of Hungary on Saturday to claim her maiden World Champs K1 gold medal.

Back home enjoying a well-earned rest after her exploits on the weekend that also saw her earn a silver in the women’s K2 race with Lenka Hrochová, Koziskova said that thoughts of the Hansa Fish had occupied her mind before the start of the epic K1 encounter with Csay.

“I was thinking about Dusi and Fish before the race!” said Koziskova. “I still can’t believe that I crossed the line in first position ahead of a legend of this discipline, 15 time World Champion Renata Csay!”

Koziskova will reunite with local star Abby Solms (neé Adie) in the defence of the title they won together in the 2013 edition of the Hansa Fish after flying into South Africa two weeks before the race to fine tune her preparations.

“I have been training so hard all season that I will keep up my training once a day. We plan to race the Pre-Fish and then go down to Cape Town for a week where I will try to do some surfski paddling,” said Kosizkova.

She said that she was looking forward to rekindling her partnership with Adie, who’s skill as a river marathoner makes her the ideal driver of their K2.

“I trust Abby! I think she is the best on the river and she can steer amazingly well so all I have to do is try not to be afraid of big rapids and I will be pushing her as much as I can!” said Kosizkova.

The likeable Czech star will get a heroes welcome from her admirers at the Hansa Fish, having already made an indelible impression on local races like the N3TC Drak Challenge, Dusi Canoe Marathon and Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon.

For her part Solms was thrilled to follow her Fish partner’s achievements online on the weekend, watching the live streaming from Hungary documenting her breathtaking charge past Csay.

“I can’t wait for the Fish with Anna. We have become such good friends off the water and we chat almost every day on WhatsApp,” said Solms.

“I like to settle with one partner that I can really build a partnership with. That’s why I was so excited when Anna agreed to come out to do the Fish after such an intense year of racing.

“She is so strong at the moment that she just needs to keep ticking over while I have to use my time to make sure that I do not let her down!” said Solms, who has to manager her commitment to her teaching career at the Epworth Primary School and her training demands.

“We complement each other so well in many different ways. She is a dream partner in the boat. She trusts my judgement completely and her power in the back makes steering the boat a dream,” said Solms.

“Anna takes charge of all our paddling plans, just like she did for our Dusi together. She organises our training programmes and training sessions and I trust her with that completely.

“When we get on the water she is the most focussed person I have ever paddled with; she starts every session or time trial as if it was the World Champs and I’m sure that will be the case once again at this year’s Fish!”

The Hansa Fish River Canoe marathon takes place on Friday 9 and Saturday 10 October 2015. More information can be found at www.fishmarathon.org.za