South African Hank McGregor confirmed his position at the top of international marathon kayaking when he claimed his second gold medal of the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships by partnering Jasper Mocké to victory in the K2 race on Sunday at Camps Drift.
But it was Hungary that emerged from the four days of competition as the top nation, with two silver and two gold medals in the final day’s action taking the total to an impressive 20 medals: 10 gold, eight silver and two bronze.
SA were second on the medal table with eight medals (2 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze) with Britain third on five (1, 1, 3).
For SA, McGregor added a second gold to the one he earned for winning the K1 event on Saturday when he and Mocké added a fourth medal to their personal tally of two golds from 2014 and 2016 and silver from 2015.
The local heroes produced a potent finish sprint to claim their victory, but behind them, in a bizarre photo-finish for second, Hungarians Adrián Boros and László Solti celebrated their second position before crossing the line. That allowed SA’s second boat of Andy Birkett and schoolboy Jean van der Westhuyzen to finish centimetres back in third.
After 10 victories and three K1 and K2 double golds in 2014, 2016 and 2017, it could be expected McGregor would be a bit blasé, but he seemed somewhat overwhelmed.
"It hasn’t quite sunk in yet. I was never going for anything like this and to even win one world title is something special, but to win 10 is incredible."