McGregor sets loftier goals

2011-10-26 09:28

Cape Town – Upon his return to South Africa, newly crowned world marathon K1 champion, Hank McGregor has already set his sights on loftier goals.

McGregor stunned the canoe world with his first world title since claiming the same title in 2003’s K1 event.

“The challenge for any sportsman is not to be the best in the world, but to make sure that you remain the best.

“I know that I won’t easily experience another season like this one. I realised all the goals which I set for myself,” McGregor told Wednesday’s Die Burger.

Besides the world title, McGregor made history in South African canoeing circles when he became the South African champion in both the K1 and K2 in flat water paddling, surfski and river canoeing to go with his dominant wins in both the Fish River and Berg River canoe marathons.

“It is important for me not to get anxious. I learnt it the hard way that you are only as good as your last canoe race.”

McGregor says that he is being hounded by various race organisers hoping to lure him to take part in their events.

“It is rather overwhelming. I will have to sit down with my management and think about what I want to do.

“The Dubai world surfski championships takes place at the end of next month. I have never won that event, it is something I really want to change.

“The Dusi canoe marathon is also important to me, especially because it is South Africa’s most legendary event.

“Ant Stott, a former winner, and I will be paddling together.”

McGregor won the Dusi K1 race in 2005, while winning the K2 a year later along with Martin Dreyer.

Although he is the world champion, McGregor is still regarded as the world’s next best.

10-time canoe marathon world champion, Spain’s Manuel Busto Fernandes is ranked as the world’s best, something McGregor is still striving for whilst trying to achieve success across all fronts.

“It will be special for me to become the world’s best river canoeist while I am the world marathon champion. I don’t think anyone has achieved that yet.”

McGregor will defend his title in Rome in 2012, but he feels he may still need to work hard to earn the honour.

“It is no forgone conclusion that I will be part of the South African team. The battle for places in the team is tough every year because South Africa boast some of the world’s best marathon canoeists. I will have to paddle at my best.”