South Africa's Bridgitte Hartley reacts after winning a women's kayak single 500m semifinal in Eton Dorney, near Windsor, England, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Armando Franca)

Johannesburg – Olympic sprint canoeist Bridgitte Hartley says she has focused all her energy on the South African Sprint Trials in April, where she will attempt to make the world cup series, which starts in Hungary in May.

“At this stage, my goal is to qualify for the world cup and then to take it from there,” Hartley said on Tuesday.

The 29-year-old professional paddler surprised everyone at the London Olympic Games last year with a superb performance in the women's kayak single (K1) 500m sprint, clinching a bronze medal.

As part of her pre-season training, Hartley participated in the weekend's Midmar Mile, where she swam a personal best of 29 minutes and 12 seconds.

The race proved to be ideal training for Hartley as she aimed to build up steam ahead of the 2013 paddling season.

Hartley said her performance at the race was an indication that her training was on track.

“I don't race usually until April, May, so it's nice to end off my base training with a race,” she said.

“It's a bit of a guide to how your training is going.

“If you can do a good time then it means your swimming is quite good and your training has paid off.

“I've been doing swimming training and now I go back into paddling. I paddle twice a day now.” – Sapa