Canoeists, Stothard and Nel aim to represent SA

Anton Nel from Bedfordview at the K1 trials for selection to SA Marathons.

Canoeists, Malcolm Stothard from Edenvale and Anton Nel from Bedfordview, will represent Gauteng at the SA Marathon Championships where they hope to make the SA team for the World Championships.

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Malcolm Stothard from Edenvale in action at the K1 trials for selection to SA Marathons. He was selected to the Gauteng team having finished his K1 race as First Master age category finisher.

With the World International Canoe Federation (ICF) Marathon Championships being hosted in SA this year, there has been huge focus on marathon racing which consists of long distances (22km), including short 100 metre portages after each lap, where the paddlers display their smooth ‘take out’ of the water, a quick short run with the boat and an agile ‘put back’ into the water.

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A slip or dropped boat can cause competitors to lose a lot of time at these prestigious events.

The ‘take out’ and ‘put in’ are among the more difficult abilities to master, while speed on both the water and running on land also require good training and practice.

Ekurhuleni Kayak Club based at Homestead Dam in Benoni, has become the marathon capital of Gauteng, having hosted numerous Gauteng and SA Marathon Championships over the years.

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It boasts a superb course and specially set up jetties to enable the portages for these prestigious events.

The club hosted the K1 trials for selection to SA Marathons on July 22, and the K2 trials on July 23.

Numerous paddlers throughout Gauteng as far afield as Lowveld, Parys and Pretoria gathered to test their skills against each other, including the junior category from u-8 through to 18 years.

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Stothard has been an active international marathon paddler for many years.

He was selected to the Gauteng team after finishing his K1 race as First Master age category finisher in one hour and 33 minutes.

Nel finished in one hour, 46 minutes.

The SA Marathon event, which will be held in Pietermaritzburg in August, will see the selection of teams to represent SA at the world championships.

The ICF World Marathon championships will take place in September in Pietermaritzburg, where a specially designed course – with portage jetties to world standard requirements – has been built and tested in the past two years.

Bedfordview and Edenvale News

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