15 September 2017
EADP athletes dominated on the international stage this weekend with our Paddlers picking up 6 World Championship medals, Henri Schoeman picking up Gold in Beijing and Bongi Msomi and her SPAR Proteas finishing strong in Fiji.
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Ground-breaking exchange program to benefit KZN athletes
World Canoe Marathon Champs, Pietermaritzburg
Hungary were completely dominant on the opening day of the ICF World Marathon Canoe Championships on Thursday, but the South African and EADP duo of Sifiso “Alex” Masina and Christie Mackenzie won the hearts of the local fans at Camps Drift.
The final event of the day, the junior men’s race, was won by Hungarian Ádám Varga in the most dominant display of power-paddling seen on Day 1. Masina looked to be out of contention for a medal when three paddlers broke away from the start and he was left off the pace in fourth.
However, Varga’s decision to paddle away from his rivals by himself meant the never-say-day South African was able to first haul in Briton Charlie Smith, and then Varga’s compatriot István Lukács. That set up a three-man group to fight for silver and bronze.
As the trio wound up for the final sprint Smith powered away and his silver medal was safe from 200m out, while Masina was able to hold off the Hungarian and claim a historic bronze.
“They were just too fast for me off the start,” he said shortly after the finish. “But I have been doing a lot of distance and not a lot of speed so I was able to catch up again.
“I only realised I would get the medal about 100m from the end. I thought the Hungarian was going to get me at the finish but I just hung on. It is incredible. This means so much for me, it means a lot – a lot.”
Masina’s bronze was matched by compatriot and fellow EADP athlete Christie Mackenzie in the junior women’s race, the first event of the day.
18 year old EADP athlete Kyeta Purchase also paddled exceptionally well to finish in 7th position in the Women’s U23 event which she will still have 5 years to compete in.
K1 Junior Women
1 Zsóka Csikós (HUN) 1:35:45,39
2 Dorina Fekete (HUN) 1:35:45,95
3 Christie Mackenzie (SA) 1:37:30
K1 Junior Men
1 Ádám Varga (HUN) 1: 41:35,66
2 Charlie Smith (GBR) 1:44:17,03
3 Sifiso ‘Alex’ Masina (SA) 1:44:20,89
K1 Women U23
1. Sára Anna Mihalik (HUN) 1:49:43,12
2. Zsófia Czéllai-Vörös (HUN) 1:50:11,90
3. Alexandra Lane (GBR) 1:52:15,92
4. Tania Álvarez (ESP) 1:52:30,25
5. Emilie Rosenkilde (DEN) 1:53:04,08
7. Kyeta Purchase (RSA) 1:58:25,27
K2 Junior Women
4th – Christie Mackenzie/Sabina Lawrie
An emotional Hank McGregor paid homage to both the home crowd and his support at home after he led compatriot and fellow EADP athlete Andy Birkett to a South African one-two in the men’s K1 event at the ICF Canoe World Marathon Championships at Camps Drift on Saturday.
This is McGregor’s ninth World Championship gold medal, his seventh in a K1 and his fifth K1 win in five years to cement his position as at least the top marathon canoeist of his generation and possibly of all time.
“And a big thanks to the crowd, especially the guys on the opposite side of the bank.
You kept us going. It is such a privilege and an honour to race for my country in my home town and be able to win in front of my home crowd. This was something incredible.”
The result is a repeat of the 2016 World Championships in Germany, when McGregor also led Birkett over the line.
After close to 30km of racing, the wily McGregor worked himself into pole position at the front of a four-man group for the final 500m dash to the finish line and then had the speed to keep his compatriot back on the wave as they battled it out on the final sprint for gold.
After two desperate attacks, and with less than 100m to go, Birkett realized he was not going over McGregor’s bow wave and settled back to come home just over half a boat length back and just ahead of the fast-finishing Hungarian Adrián Boros. Portugal’s José Ramalho faded over the final 150m to just miss out on a medal.
Former Olympic Medalist Bridgitte Hartley also did very well securing a 12th position in the Womens K1 event.
1 Lani Belcher (GBR) 2:05:04
2 Vanda Kiszli (HUN) 2:05:10
3 Jennifer Egan (IRL) 2:05:39
4 Eva Barrios (ESP) 2:06:27
5 Anna Koziscova (CZE) 2:06:31
12 Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 2:10:25
1 Hank McGregor (RSA) 2:09:34
2 Andrew Birkett (RSA) 2:09:35
3 Adrián Boros (HUN) 2:09:35
4 José Ramalho (POR) 2:09:37
Led by a bloodied Hank McGregor, South Africa grabbed another two medals on the final day of the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to end up second overall on the medal table.
Saturday’s K1 men’s winner, sporting a large cut above his left eye from a clash of paddles, and partner Jasper Mocké claimed the gold in the final event of the championships to give the 2015 World Paddler of the Year his 10th World Championship title and ensure he completed the K1 and K2 double for the third time.
‘It hasn’t quite sunk in yet to be honest,’ said McGregor. ‘I was never going for anything like this and to even win one world title is something special, but to win ten is incredible.
McGregor and Mocké produced a potent finish sprint to claim their victory, but behind them, in a bizarre photo-finish for second, the Hungarian pair of Adrián Boros and László Solti celebrated their second position before crossing the line.
That allowed South Africa’s second boat of Pietermaritzburg local Andy Birkett and 18-year-old Michaelhouse schoolboy Jean van der Westhuyzen to finish, just centimetres back in third.
The two South African medals saw South Africa end second on the medal table with eight medals (two gold, three silver and three bronze).
1 Vanda Kiszli/Sãra Anna Mihalik (HUN) 1:56:31
2 Renáta Csay/Alexandra Bara (HUN) 1:56:44
3 Lani Belcher/Hayleigh-Jayne Mason (GBR) 1:56:45
11 Jenna Ward/Nicole Russell (SA) 2:01:31
1 Hank McGregor/Jasper Mocké (SA) 2:00:11
2 Adrián Boros/László Solti (HUN) 2:00:13
3 Andrew Birkett/Jean van der Westhuyzen (SA) 2:00:15
4 Luis Pérez/Miguel Llorens (ESP) 2:00:16
The Olympic distance race featured a 1.5km swim through Garden Expo Lake; a challenging 40 km bike race through the villages of Fengtai and up Qian Ling Mountain, the highest peak in Southwest Beijing; and a final 10 km run through the lush gardens and scenic trails of the Garden Expo Park, including a 480-step stair climb.
A sprint distance race took place on Saturday, September 9 bringing the total number of race participants to more than 2,000 as the popularity of triathlon continues to grow in China.
Olympians Henri Schoeman from South Africa and Paula Findlay from Canada took first place honors in the men and women’s pro division.
Local favourite Mengying Zhong of China placed third amongst women. More than 1,500 professional and amateur athletes from more than 34 countries participated in the sixth annual race, on Sunday, September 10, in the Fengtai District of Beijing.
“It’s a great feeling to win here in Beijing at a non-drafting race against such a strong field of triathletes,” said 2017 Beijing International Triathlon Champion Henri Schoeman.
“The course was harder than I expected. The run was brutal – especially completing the first flight of stairs, only to see more stairs. I just tried to stay ahead of Ryan Fisher and get to the finish. I’m very happy with my performance here today.”
Following their great win over England in New Zealand, the SPAR Proteas continued their winning momentum on Wednesday… only in another country!
Suva, Fiji, was the venue for the match as SA thrashed their Pacific Island opponents 72-31.
The SPAR Proteas then went onto record another record victory on Friday when they won 83-36 against Fiji.
The previous biggest margin was just 14 goals, when South Africa won 47-33 in Pretoria back in 2009.
Well done to Bongi Msomi and her team.
UCI MTB World Championships
Men U23 Results:
46th – Julian Jessop
Lynford Umko Trail Descent, 2-3 September
1st – Skhumbuzo Dlamini (2:11:33)
1st – Skhumbuzo Dlamini (1:07:43)
KZN Closed Badminton Championships
Congrats to Mikaeel Mizra on his two Gold Medals in the Men’s singles and doubles events. He was selected to represent KZN in the Senior Provincial Team that will be participating in the National Senior Championships and Inter-Provincials taking place in Benoni, Johannesburg from the 7th to the 14th October.
Demi Botha also competed at the Champs and won a Silver Medal in the Ladies Singles event and two Gold Medals in the Ladies and Mixed Doubles events.
She has also been selected to represent KZN in the Senior Provincial Team that will be competing at the National Senior Championships and Inter-Provincials in Benoni, Johannesburg from the 7th to the 14th October.
National Aerobic Gymnastics Championships
Demi competed in the Senior Individual Woman category where she won Gold claiming the National Senior Woman Championship title.
Demi did an outstanding routine, she achieved a score of 20.6 by far her highest and personal best. This score is also one of the highest scores any female aerobic gymnast has achieved at Nationals.
She was also awarded the trophy for receiving the highest score of the Championships.