JOHANNESBURG – South Africa got off to a flying start with five medals on day one of the Canoe Marathon Masters World Cup in Brandenburg, Germany yesterday.

The morning started brightly for the South African team as the registered their first medal through Radoslaw Olszewski in the Men’s C1 50-54 age category. Olszewski finished with a silver medal in the fairly foreign boat class behind Enrique Miguez of Spain.

The team then piled on three more medals in quick succession with the ladies taking centre stage as Hilde Lapere repeated her 2015 success with another silver medal in the Women’s K1 55-59 age category. It was another mirror image as Lis Hart won her second bronze medal in as many years in the Women’s K1 50-54 age division.

South Africa had to wait until the end of 19km in the 60-64 age increment race before they could celebrate a gold medal and that was via the heroics of Theo Smit. Smit powered his way to victory by over two minutes with fellow South Africans Chris Visser and Alan Hold finishing in fourth and fifth respectively.

The afternoon session was not as successful for the team as only ever-green Lee McGregor medalled for South Africa. Incredibly, McGregor, who is 65 years old, raced in 45-49 year old age increment and finished third taking the medal tally on the opening day to five – one short of the same stage at last year’s World Cup in Hungary.

– African News Agency

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