Canoeist champ, hot favourite in China
South African marathon canoeists jetted out of the country this weekend for the 2019 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships taking place in Shaoxing, China from October 17 - 20.
Defending champion and seven-times champion, Andy Birkett and Hank McGregor respectively are the hot favourites to battle it out for the K1 title and secure a one-two for South Africa. At last year's championships in Portugal, McGregor opted out of the K1 race, focusing purely on the K2 (doubles) where he won gold partnering with Birkett.
With the K2 race scheduled within 24 hours of the K1 and some competitors focusing solely on either race, only fatigue may hamper the duo's ambitions as they partner again. Birkett said he was excited and ready to race.
“I skipped the Fish River Canoe Marathon this year and haven’t raced in quite a while as all my preparation has been focused on China, I’m feeling confident,” he said on departure from the East London airport.