Adventure Sport

SA to host Canoe Slalom event

2012-02-01 17:05
Canoeing (File)
Cape Town - This weekend Ash River in Bethlehem will host the 2012 African Canoe Slalom Championships.

The event which is organised by Canoeing South Africa takes place from 3 – 4 February and will also serve as an Olympic Qualifier.

It will be the final opportunity from which canoe slalom paddlers from Africa will be able to qualify for the Olympic Games in London this summer.

Taking place alongside the qualifiers are three training camps: an ICF Talent Identification Programme camp for the African continent, a Confederation of African Canoeing camp for lower level paddlers and a development camp for all paddlers. The participating athletes (attending the camp) are from 14 countries around the world: Canada, Brazil, Uganda, France, Zambia, Nigeria, Morocco, Kenya, Togo, Algeria, Switzerland, Holland, and Senegal.

Athletes to watch out for include Benjamin Boukpeti (TOG) and Johnathan Akiyemi (NIG), who will both be battling it out for the one Men's K1 spot up for grabs. Looking to usurp the two front runners will be local paddler Katleho Mahlaba (RSA) - as well as the other equally motivated South African paddlers who will be competing on their home turf. At the conclusion of the Olympic Qualifier, the training camp will continue until 17 February, with the main focus being to progress the local slalom project.

International Canoe Federation (ICF) Development Officer, Pierrick Gosselin had the following to say:

“The Ash River is a unique treasure and to see all the top athletes come here to train is exciting. I am looking forward to the weeks ahead and to see how we can continue to build on the vision that the Municipality has started.”

Following many months of preparation the town is ready to deliver its most important event in years and is relishing the opportunity to showcase areas surrounding the magnificent Ash River.

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