Strong performances at SA Sprint Champs

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Canoeing South Africa

Canoe: SA Sprint Champs

The 2017 South African Sprint Canoe Championships came to a conclusion on Sunday with a number of the country’s best sprint paddlers rising to the surface with Donna Hutton and Louis Hattingh claiming the overall women’s and men’s paddlers prizes respectively.

While some of the events attracted relatively small entries, the quality of the various age categories was high and the racing went right down to the wire with a number of the category prizes decided right at the end.

The event boasted the likes of Bridgitte Hartley, Chrisjan Coetzee, Stuart Maclaren and Melanie van Niekerk, all paddlers that have represented South Africa in various disciplines.

Although Hartley’s sprinting pedigree is unmatched in South Africa, the Olympic bronze medallist opted out of paddling her signature 500m K1 event to focus more on the longer distance events with an eye on the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships in September.

With that said, Hartley teamed up with young Under-23 star Kyeta Purchase and won the 500m K2 event, putting them right in contention for a spot in the South African team to go to the World Championships in the Czech Republic later this year.

The performance of the competition came from Donna Hutton. The young star who competed in two A Finals at the 2016 Junior and Under 23 Sprint World Championships showed her dominance as she finished with two wins, a second and a third in the K1 events.

Hutton’s impressive efforts were highlighted by the fact that she did not compete in any K2 events, yet she still finished with the highest number of points in the ladies competition.

The men’s victor ludorum was keenly contested with two paddlers in the mix going right up to the end of the competition; however it was the experienced Louis Hattingh who was too strong as he claimed the overall spoils ahead of Stuart Maclaren by two and a half points.

Maclaren was in top form in the K2 events where he came out on top in all four of the events, the 5000m, 1000m, 500m and 200m. Maclaren had three different partners for the four races, partnering Chrisjan Coetzee twice to win the 500m and 200m K2 events.

There was a dog fight for the Under 18 girls with Caitlin and Christie Mackenzie battling it out for the junior girl’s honours. Eventually it was Caitlin who pipped Christie to the line by four points despite the latter’s absence from the K2 events.

Alex Masina powered his way to the Under 18 Boys title ahead of Callum Davis and Hamish Lovemore. Masina racked up 92.5 points as opposed to 50 from Davis and 49.5 from Lovemore.

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Sprint canoeing star Louis Hattingh lead the show at the recent South African Sprint Canoeing Championships at Shongweni Dam when he finished as the senior Victor Ludorum. (Anthony Grote)

Shongweni Dam

Senior Men
1.Louis Hattingh (U23) 74
2.Stu Maclaren 72.5
3.Chrisjan Coetzee 44.5

Senior Women
1.Donna Hutton (U23) 48
2.Kyeta Purchase (U23) 34.5
3.Melanie van Niekerk 32

Under 23 Men
1.Louis Hattingh 77
2.Stuart Bristow 48
3.Jarryd Gibson 48

Under 23 Women
1.Donna Hutton 26
2.Kyeta Purchase 17.5
3.Kayla de Beer 8

Under 18 Boys
1.Alex Masina 92.5
2.Callum Davis 50
3.Hamish Lovemore 49.5

Under 18 Girls
1.Caitlin Mackenzie 48
2.Christie Mackenzie 44
3.Katie Croudace 32


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