TuksCanoe: De Beer to represent South Africa at World Cup’s
ASHLEY MAGWINDIRI AND MARIESA POTGIETER
Kayla de Beer recently participated in the K1 race at the South African Sprint Cup, which was held in East London. At this event, De Beer took part in the 200m race and took her first win home. By taking first place, De Beer will be competing in some very prestigious events this year.
Leading up to the SA Cup, De Beer had to focus on “mental training”, and she says it made a “massive difference in such a short space of time”. Speaking to De Beer on what other changes she had to make in preparation for the event, she says, “A lot of focus was placed on speed endurance and maintaining top speed for as long as possible.” De Beer went on to say that her biggest weakness had been “losing the lead in the last few meters of the race”. Looking back on her past performances and how she had been working hard, De Beer says that she had to work on “recovery and mobility”, because with a full week of hard work, the body can take “quite a beating”.
Reflecting on her kayaking and canoeing experience, De Beer says it is crucial for beginners to learn “proper technique in a stable boat before moving into a thinner and faster boat.” De Beer mentions that “technique is important” as well as strength, however if one can’t use strength properly, it becomes “useless”. She went on to say that one has to be “comfortable with the uncomfortable” because “training can be tough and slow progression can be frustrating”.
De Beer will compete in the World Cup in Poznan, Poland from 23 to 26 May, the World Cup in Duisburg, Germany from 31 May to 2 June and the World u-23 Championships in Pitesti, Romania from 1 to 5 August 2019.
In their training program, to prepare for these upcoming competitions, she focuses on “consistency” and putting the work in. De Beer comments that, “it’s just hard work that has to be done”. De Beer’s focus for this year is to “improve [her] times as much as possible and get plenty of international race experience”.
For De Beer, the upcoming championships will be “good preparation for the Olympic spot trial as it will give an indication of the level of racing that needs to be met. The level of senior racing is high and having an opportunity to measure up against them and gain even more racing experience will be hugely beneficial.”
De Beer comments that, “Olympics are for any athlete the ultimate dream.” De Beer would “obviously love to attend Tokyo 2020 Olympics and that is the goal. Life can be unpredictable though and the possibility of not meeting selection criteria exists.” She therefore remains “positive and [aims] to qualify, but if it doesn’t happen then plan B comes into play and the focus shifts to Paris 2024”.
She further told PDBY how she will be able to qualify by saying: “This year, qualification lies purely on the results obtained by the senior team at the Senior World Championships in Szeged, Hungary. If qualification is met, I can compete for the spot to represent South Africa at Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the 2020 South African Selection trial.