Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocké helped bag second gold medal for team South Africa at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships at Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.
McGregor and Mocké won the K2 race as they finished two seconds ahead of Hungarian team Adrián Boros and László Solti. South Africa’s second boat of Andy Birkett and 18-year-old Jean van der Westhuyzen finished a further two seconds back to secure bronze.
The additional medals boosted SA’s tally to eight – two gold, three silver and three bonze – and allowed them to finish second overall.
Hungary netted the most medals as they raced to an impressive 20 podium positions over the four days of racing and Great Britain completed the overall podium with five.
The win was McGregor’s tenth World Championship title, an achievement that consolidated his position at the top of international marathon kayaking.
“It hasn’t quite sunk in yet to be honest,” said the Durban hero.
“I was never going for anything like this and to even win one world title is something special, but to win ten is incredible.
“To win it here in front of the home fans with Jasper was special, and it rounded off a fantastic week for me with my family here.”
Christie Mackenzie and Sifiso “Alex” Masina were the first in SA colours to step onto the podium when they both finished third in the K1 junior women and men’s races respectively on the opening day.
Nick Notten delivered the countries first silver of the championship when he finished behind Argentina’s Franco Balboa in the U23 men’s K1 on the second day.
David Evans and Hamish Mackenzie were quick to add to that as they finished second in the junior men’s K2, bringing the host nation’s total medal count to four.
McGregor then had his turn as he and fellow South African Andy Birkett delivered a one-two for the country in the K1 on the penultimate day.
This year’s championships saw McGregor win his tenth World Championship title and the K1 and K2 double for the third time.