Update: April 30 2016
South Africa and Tunisia topped the medal list at the 2016 African Sprint Canoe Championship. The top ranked eligible boats from the men’s K1 200m, K1 1000m, C1 200m, C1 1000m and C2 1000m and the top ranked eligible boats from the women’s K1 200m and K1 500m will qualify their nation to the Olympics. The African Sprint Canoe Championships was held in Durban, South Africa from April 1st to April 3rd 2016.
As a reminder there are a few rules in canoeing which can affect qualification. Firstly only nations which competed at the 2015 World Championship are eligible to qualify to the Olympics, second a nation can only qualify a maximum of two athlete quotas in the canoe (C1, C2) events and finally a nation can only qualify in one boat size (men’s K1, men’s C1 or women’s K1), should they qualify in more than one event the quota will be given to the boat from the longer distance while the 200m boat will be reallocated to the next highest ranked nation.
The finals for the longer distances occurred on the second day of events. The women’s K1 500m had just a direct final and it was South Africa’s Bridgette Hartley whom won the gold medal with a time of 1:55.52. However, since she qualified at the 2015 World Championship the Olympic quota went to silver medalist Tunisia’s Afef Ben Ismail. Going into the final with the fastest time from the heat in the men’s K1 1000m Tunisia’s Mohamed Ali Mrabet was able to finish ahead of South Africa’s Louis Hattingh with a time of 3:36.72 as he qualified to the Olympics.
The men’s C1 1000m was won by Senegal’s Abdoulaye Gueye whom won the event at 4:30.28, over seven second ahead of his closest rival from Sao Tome and Principe. However, Sao Tome and Principe won the Olympic quota due to Senegal not being eligible to win the Olympic quota. The closest final happened in the men’s C2 1000m between boats from Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe. Requiring a photo finish it was Mozambique who won the event and a spot at the Olympics with a time of 4:16.10, just 0.13 second head of Sao Tome and Principe.
The 200m finals occurred on the third and final day. The men’s K1 200m was a close race between Egypt’s Karim Abdelsamie, Tunisia’s Mohamed Ali Mrabet and South Africa’s Chrisjan Coetzee. Coetzee crossed the finish line 0.03 second ahead of Mrabet to win gold with a time of 37.39. The men’s C1 200m was won by Tunisia’s Khaled Houssine with a time of 44.16. The women’s K1 200m was won by Bridgette Hartley from South Africa with a time of 43.70. The Olympic quota however, went to third place Menatalla Ali Ahmed of Egypt because Bridgette has already qualified an athlete quota and second place Tunisia already qualified in the K1 500m.
There is a good chance that South Africa will decline their quota won in the men’s K1 200m due to having a policy of not accepting continental quotas. When the quota is officially declined it will be reallocated to the next eligible nation, in this case Egypt. This was the final opportunity for African nations to qualify in canoeing.
Boats by Nations
- Tunisia – 3
- Egypt – 1
- Mozambique – 1
- Sao Tome and Principe – 1
- South Africa – 1
- CAC. 2016 African Sprint Championship Results. Access on April 3 2016.