Shaoxing - Another exciting day of racing at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships saw South Africa's under 18 pair of Hamish Mackenzie and David Evans win their third consecutive junior men K2 medal when they finished second in Shaoxing on Friday.
The South African team would have had high expectations going into the day with the junior K2 races and under 23 K1 races taking the spotlight. The team fought hard but had one silver medal to show for their efforts.
The team's strong medal hope was the K2 pair of Evans and Mackenzie and they did not disappoint as they mixed it up with the Hungarian boat right to the line where they were pipped to the gold. The pair also became the first South African duo to win three medals in the same event over three years.
Despite a second silver medal in three years, to go with their 2018 bronze, Evans was happy with how the race went for them.
"We obviously came here for the win but to come second to a Hungarian pair like isn't disappointing," Evans said. "I am chuffed with how we paddled and the result that we finished with."
Mackenzie felt that this year wasn't quite as polished as their performance last year where they won bronze in Portugal.
"I think last year was better to be honest. Last year we controlled the bunch but this year with the Hungarians and the Danish crews we got bullied a bit and couldn't get to where we wanted to be," he said.
"Last year we did what we wanted to do but this year we did a lot of scratching and trying to stay on the bunch.
"But despite that we got the silver medal and we are really happy to win the first medal of the competition for South Africa."
The other K2 boat in the junior race was Gustav Smook Junior and Bartho Visser. Both were competing in their first World Championships and they finished eleventh overall.
In the junior girls K2 race there were two untested combinations fielded by South Africa. Georgina Howard and Melonie Croeser and Amy Peckett and Nosipho Mthembu fought it out with the world's best.
Howard and Croeser eventually finished fourteenth overall while Peckett and Mthembu came home in seventeenth.
The K1 racing was in the under 23 age group on Friday and South Africa had four boats in the mix.
In the under 23 men's race, Alex Masina was fighting hard towards the front end but took an unfortunate swim at one of the many tight bridges that the paddlers have to go under.
He couldn't recover from the incident and was unable to finish the race.
The other under 23 men's boat belonged to Hamish Lovemore. He fought hard throughout the race and finished in thirteenth position overall.
The under 23 women's race featured Christie Mackenzie and Kyeta Purchase and both put in big efforts to finish sixth and eighth respectively.
Mackenzie still has a few years of under 23 paddling ahead of her and will be eyeing the podium in the future after her junior bronze medal in 2017.
Both Purchase and Mackenzie will now shift their focus to the women's K2 race on Sunday. Mackenzie will team up with Bridgitte Hartley while Purchase and Jenna Ward will battle it out.
Saturday's racing includes both the senior men's and women's K1 races.
SUMMARY OF RESULTS - ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships Day Two:
Junior Men K2
1.Zsombor Ory/Tamas Erdelyie (HUN) 01:32:29
2.David Evans/Hamish Mackenzie (RSA) 01:32:30
3.Philip Knudsen/Nikolai Thomsen (DEN) 01:32:38
11.Gustav Smook Junior/Bartho Visser (RSA) 01:37:00
Junior Women K2
1.Emese Kohalmi/Eszter Rendessy (HUN) 01:21:52
2.Eszter CsonkaEvelin Csengri 01:23:27
3.Adela Hazova/Katerina Zarubova (CZE) 01:24:08
14.Georgina Howard/Melonie Croeser (RSA) 01:31:29
17.Amy Peckett/Nosipho Mthembu (RSA) 01:35:08
Under 23 Women K1
1.Lili Katona (HUN) 01:49:53
2.Anna Sletsjoee (NOR) 01:51:15
3.Irati Osa (ESP) 01:51:30
6.Christie Mackenzie (RSA) 01:53:21
8.Kyeta Purchase (RSA) 01:54:51
Under 23 Men K1
1.Mads Pedersen (DEN) 01:51:49
2.Thorbjorn Rask (DEN) 01:52:26
3.Mate Gyorgjaka (HUN) 01:54:01
3.Hamish Lovemore (RSA) 02:01:03
DNF Alex Masina
2019 ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships Schedule (SA Time):
Saturday, October 19
06:30AM - K1 Women
09:00AM - K1 Men
Sunday, October 20
05:15AM - K2 Women
08:15AM - K2 Men