More Gold for Hartley
By Manfred Seidler
Posted on 09 June 2009
The star of Bridgitte Hartley continues to rise as the South African canoeist collected a gold and bronze medal at the World Cup in Hungary at the Szeged World Cup on Sunday 7 June.
Hartley won the Gold in the K1 500m event, which is the Olympic distance event for the women. The result vindicates Hartley’s inclusion in the recently announced OPEX squad by SASCOC.
The A-Final featured the top women sprinters in the world and a host of Olympic medal winners. At the halfway mark, Beijing bronze medalist Katrin Wagner-Augustin was a nose ahead of the South African, but Hartley pushed on with her powerful kick to pip the German star by half a second on the finish line, netting her second World Cup gold medal. Beijing silver-medalist Josefa Idem secured the bronze.
Hartley set the scene already on Saturday, 6 June with Bronze in the k1 1000m. Having won her Friday heat to bypass the semi-finals and secure the centre lane in the A-Final, she battled neck and neck with Wagner-Augustin and New Zealand¹s Erin Taylor to eventually win the bronze medal making it a hat-trick across the three World Cups. “The wind was extremely strong in the afternoon but to my advantage I really enjoy racing into a head wind. It was a bit too strong but nevertheless, the race was hard but good,” said Hartley afterwards.
Hartley also made the A-Final in the K1 200m for the first time in her international career, finishing in seventh place. Her form this year has been nothing short of spectacular, and she will be closely watched by the sprint community over the coming years.
K1 500m A-Final
1. Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 1:58.062
2. Katrin Wagner-Augustin (GER) 1:58.578
3. Josefa Idem (ITA) 2:00.672
K1 1000m A-Final
1. Katrin Wagner-Augustin (GER) 4:20.882
2. Erin Taylor (NZL) 4:22.118
3. Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 4:23.570