Shaoxing - The opening day of the ICF Canoe Marathon Championships in Shaoxing saw Team South Africa end it without any medals, but happy with the display that the paddlers put in on Thursday.
There were eight paddlers in action across the junior K1 races and the new senior short course events. This is the first year that the ICF has included a short course championship into the World Championships.
The racing started with the junior girls racing and Amy Peckett and Georgina Howard fought it out with the best in the world. It was a tough race for the pair who came home in 16th and 18th overall.
It was a good hit-out for Howard who is still under-16 at her first world championships in a K1 boat.
The junior men’s race was an exciting tussle with Uli Hart in the mix right up until the final sprint for the line. He unfortunately didn't have enough in the tank to fight for a medal and settled for fourth place.
Hamish Mackenzie was in the chasing bunch throughout and finished well to take fifth overall.
Hart said he was disappointed in the result but was happy that he was in medal contention right until the end.
"It was painful, I don't think I can describe it any other way," Hart said.
"I started really well, so well I nearly fell out! But I felt that if I could get in the front bunch then that was my ticket and I just needed to beat one other.
"I couldn't do that but I am proud with how I raced today," Hart added.
There were three seniors that lined up in the inaugural men's and women's short course, decided over three laps and a total of 3.6km.
In the men’s race Clinton Cook and Bryan Leroux represented South Africa. Cook, who had virtually just got off the plane, was unable to qualify for the final which left Leroux to fight it out for a medal.
The quality of the field meant that Leroux was unable to match the pace at the front and finished in 20th position.
The women's short course Bridgitte Hartley qualified comfortably for the short course final in a tough heat. She was right in contention in the lead bunch throughout most of the race, only to conceded ground on the last portage to end in fifth place overall.
Friday's racing sees the junior K2 races and the Under-23 K1 races take centre stage.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS - ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships Day 1:
Junior Women K1:
1. Eszter Rendessy (HUN) 01:28:05
2. Zsoka Csikos (HUN) 01:28:26
3. Celia Toledo (ESP) 01:31:14
16. Amy Peckett (RSA) 01:40:24
18. Georgina Howard (RSA) 01:40:37
Junior Men K1:
1. Nikolai Thomseon (DEN) 01:39:01
2. Philip Knudsen (DEN) 01:39:07
3. Vince Petro (HUN) 01:39:16
4. Ulvard Hart (RSA) 01:39:43
5. Hamish Mackenzie (RSA) 01:40:37
Senior Men Short Course final:
1. Cyrille Carre (FRA) 00:14:20
2. Jeremy Candy (FRA) 00:14:21
3. Franco Balboa (ARG) 00:14:27
20. Bryan Leroux (RSA) 00:15:34
Senior Women Short Course final:
1. Vanda Kiszli (HUN) 00:15:40
2. Kristina Bedec (SRB) 00:15:41
3. Eva Barrios (ESP) 00:15:45
5. Bridgitte Hartley (RSA) 00:16:19
2019 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships Schedule (all times SA):
Friday, October 18
02:30 - Junior K2 Women
04:30 - U23 K1 Women
06:45 - Junior K2 men
08:45 - U23 K1 Men
Saturday, October 19
06:30 - K1 Women
09:00 - K1 Men
Sunday, October 20
05:15 - K2 Women
08:15 - K2 Men