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Marathon World Champs successfuls head for Cradock


Cradock – On the back of claiming his third Flatwater Marathon World Championship title in Copenhagen over the weekend, South Africa’s Hank McGregor will now lead a horde of world class South African and internationals from Denmark to Cradock for Friday’s opening stage of the 2013 Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon.

McGregor once again showed just why he is regarded by many as the best all-round paddler on the globe when he overcame a strong senior men’s K1 field to claim gold for the third time in his career on Saturday afternoon, before heading straight to the airport to return home to focus on his Hansa Fish campaign.

Hank McGregor and Grantvd Walt shoot Cradock Weir in 2011

McGregor’s fellow senior men’s competitor and Hansa Fish partner, Grant van der Walt, finished seventh overall in the same race, a result that will give the pair an enormous confidence boost ahead of this year’s Eastern Cape event where they will look to make the Hansa Fish K2 title their own for the fourth consecutive time this weekend.

Triple Dusi Canoe Marathon winner Andy Birkett also enjoyed a golden Danish trip as he narrowly edged out van der Walt’s younger brother, Brandon, by just centimeters to claim the U23 world title with van der Walt completing the South African one-two.

Birkett and his 2013 Hansa Fish partner Cam Schoeman then put in another top performance a day later as the pair powered to a solid fifth place in the men’s K2 event, sandwiched between their fellow South African crew of former Marathon World Champ Shaun Rubenstein and 2013 Surfski World Champ Sean Rice, who finished fourth, and the Czech Republic’s Jakub Adam and Michael Odvãrko, who claimed sixth position.

Birkett and Schoeman will now race how to form one of a trio of pairings labeled this year’s Hansa Fish ‘big three’ out to make the title their own whilst van der Walt will pair up with SA sprinter Stuart MacLaren.

Despite not being under quite the same pre-Fish pressures as some of his fellow top stars who performed in Denmark, Rice will be yet another keen to get home and start his preparations for this year’s Eastern Cape assignment where he will look to team up with his girlfriend, Emily McGrath, in what promises to be a hotly contested mixed doubles category.

Having tackled the Hansa Fish in K1s last year, Adam and Odvãrko had their hopes of a 2013 K2 entry dashed recently when Odvãrko was forced to withdraw from the trip due to personal reasons.

Adam will however still look to head south as quickly as possible as he joins Czech sprint sensation Lukas Trefil for this year’s Fish clash.

Adam’s sister, Anna Adamová, was yet another 2013 Hansa Fish attendee who enjoyed great success in Copenhagen where she claimed the silver medal in the women’s K1 event before racing to third place in the K2 event with partner Lenka Hrochovä.

Adamová will now team up with top SA river marathoner Abby Adie in Cradock as the pair look to take on the likes of fellow top female river paddler Robyn Kime and her partner, London Olympic bronze medalist Bridgitte Hartley.

Hartley, another racing against the clock to be home in time for Friday’s start, will however prefer to forget her Danish excursion after a rudder mechanical just 500m from the start line ended her and doubles partner Michéle Eray’s K2 medal challenge.

U18 girls sensation Kirsten Flanagan was yet another of Team SA’s standout performers as she bravely battled her way to a memorable silver medal, adding to the gold she claimed at the Surfski Worlds in Portugal earlier this year.

Despite this year’s Hansa Fish being a K2 championship year, Flanagan has opted to take part individually, although her recent marathon effort would have done her chances of securing herself a top partner no harm.

Others too have performed in Denmark and who will now head for Cradock are Michelle Burn, Jenna Ward, Kerry Segal and Kenny Rice whilst the strong performances by the South African masters across the categories in the days leading up to the elite competition bodes well for competitive clashes throughout the age groups at this year’s Hansa Fish River Canoe Marathon.

The Hansa Fish River Canoe marathon takes place on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September. More information can be found at www.fishmarathon.org.za


K1 (Singles)

Senior Men

1.Hank McGregor (RSA)

7.Grant van der Walt (RSA)

Senior Women

2.Anna Adamová (CZE)

10.Alexa Cole (RSA)

DNF – Michelle Burn (RSA)

U23 Men

1.Andy Birkett (RSA)

2.Brandon van der Walt (RSA)

U23 Women

16.Jenna Ward (RSA)

DNF – Kerry Segal (RSA)

U18 Boys

7.Kenny Rice (RSA)

17.Nicolas Notten (RSA)

U18 Girls

2. Kirsten Flanagan (RSA)

11.Kerry Shuter (RSA)

K2 (Doubles)

Senior Men

4.Shaun Rubenstein (RSA)/Sean Rice (RSA)

5.Andy Birkett (RSA)/Cam Schoeman (RSA)

6.Jakub Adam (CZE)/Michael Odvãrko (CZE)

Senior Women

3.Anna Adamová (CZE)/Lenka Hrochovä (CZE)

DNF – Bridgitte Hartley (RSA)/Michéle Eray (RSA)

DNF – Alexa Cole (RSA)/Eloise Horn (RSA)

U18 Boys

7.Kenny Rice (RSA)/Nicolas Notten (RSA)

23.Calvin McKie (RSA)/Gene Prato (RSA)

U18 Girls

8.Kerry Shuter (RSA)/Jordan Peek (RSA)

19.Kelly Biljoen (RSA)/Nicole Smith (RSA)


K1 (Singles)

Women 35-39

1.Marion Jones (RSA)

Men 55-59

2.Nic Oldert (RSA)

Men 60-64

2.Alan Hold (RSA)

Men 70-74

1.Len Jenkins Snr. (RSA)

K2 (Doubles)

Women 35-39

1.Marion Jones (RSA)/Angela Scruby (RSA)

Men 40-44

3.Gustav Radlof (RSA)/Gustav Smook (RSA)

Men 45-49

3.Brandon Collyer (RSA)/Rob Hart (RSA)

Women 45-49

2.Lis Hart (RSA)/Sandra Eardley (RSA)

Women 50-54

2.Hilde Lapere (RSA)/Margie Boehm (AUS)

Men 60-64

1.Alan Hold (RSA)/Lee McGregor (RSA)

Men 70-74

1.Len Jenkins Snr. (RSA)/Marc Moens (BEL)

C1 (Singles)

Men 50-54

2.Radoslav Olsewski (RSA)