Esti van Tonder and Kayla de Beer were in fine form over the weekend, featuring in the K2 women’s 200m A-final at the ICF Canoe Sprint World Cup in Hungary.
The South African duo finished the race in seventh place in a time of 38.65 seconds, more than two seconds short of the winning crew of Lisa Carrington and Aimee Fisher.
“We are pleased with our result as we aimed to qualify for the A-final,” said De Beer, who is a Tuks athlete.
“It is never a real excuse, but we were slightly tired when we lined up for the final as both of us competed in other races in between the K2 events.”
Van Tonder was the best of the South Africans at the World Cup event where she raced in the K1 200m B-final, finishing in fifth place, clocking 40.72.
She also competed in the K1 500m B-final, finishing eighth in 1:55.44.
De Beer, meanwhile, settled for last place in her K1 200m C-final in 43.38.
“The whole World Cup experience was exciting, and I must admit slightly intimidating at first, as I was not used to racing at such an intense level,” De Beer said.
“I am now more motivated. Esti and I realise that there is still a lot of room for improvement.
“I am sure that as we gain more international experience, we will become more competitive and faster.”
Chrisjan Coetzee was the top SA male paddle, reaching the K1 500m A-final where he settled for last place in 1:44.46, nearly nine seconds adrift of winner Roi Rodriguez of Spain.
In the men’s K1 200m C-final, Coetzee won his race in 35.26, finishing ahead of Piotr Mazur of Poland who crossed in second place in 35.31.
Making his return to competitive paddling after suffering a severe injury to his hand a year ago, Louis Hattingh finished last in the K1 men’s 100m C-final in 3:48.63.
The South African quartet will next travel to Duisburg, Germany for the second World Cup event this weekend.