Archive for August 2009
Whilst the rest of the ‘Change a Life’ athletes burned calories training for next week’s Jeep Msinsi Multisport race, Tom and Lucas raced in the Africa Champs Development Trial.
The cream of Development paddlers from around SA (Cape Town, JHB & Durban) descended upon Nagle Dam on Friday to attend the trial for choosing a team to represent South Africa at the African Sprint Championships in Cocody Bay, Abidjan – Ivory Coast. The team will consist of two seniors, two juniors and a girl.
‘Change a Life’ athlete Tom Ngcobo had a slow start, lying 5th going through the 250m mark. Passing the 750m buoy, he had ground his way to the front and thereafter kept inching further ahead of the other contenders, to cross the line first.
- Tom Ngcobo (Change a Life) – 4min 12sec
- Loveday Zondi (Scarc) – 4min 14sec
- Nkosi Mzolo (Scarc) – 4min 17sec
This was a spectacular showdown, with only 3 seconds seperating the top four contenders. Tom won by a boat length to Nkosi Mzolo. Top 10 Dusi finisher, Lucas, struggled with the explosive speed needed for such a short race, finishing seventh.
- Tom Ngcobo (Change a Life) – 1min 51sec
- Nkosi Mzolo (Scarc) – 1min 52sec
- Loveday Zondi (Scarc) – 1min 53sec
In the other races, Tom finished 4th in the 200m and Lucas raced cunningly to finish 2nd in the 4000m.
The Cape based Paarl Canoe Club won all the Junior (under 18) division races, with Joseph Williams dominating the gold positions and the sensational under sixteen paddler, Diveano Peterson claimimg silver.
Shae-Earl Dewee (Paarl), likewise made a clean sweep in the woman junior and senior divisions.
Although the selectors have yet to announce the Team.
Very well done to Tom. I’ll bet money on it….
Arriving at Shongweni Dam with a laden boat trailer (bikes hanging off the sides) an hour before race start, I thought “this time we’re ahead of the curve”.
30 minutes to go till the start of the race: one slit side wall of a bike tyre; a broken chain and a trailer load of boats and bikes yet to be untied and placed in position for race start – organized chaos was the order of the day.
Somehow ‘African time’ waved its magic wand and amazingly all the ‘Change a life’ athletes were ready on the start line.
At the blast of the gun, they took off with all cylinders firing. I assigned myself to a four-wheeler to transport a cameraman around the course, in order to get the best action footage of my Valley boys. I was excited to see the improvements of their positions after many of them followed the wrong course at the Albert Falls race, and I was especially looking forward to seeing how my potentially strongest multisport athlete, Eric Zondi would do as he had a disastrous race at the last event.
Eric bolted straight into the lead from the start on the run and slowly pulled away from the chasing group, where Nhlanhla and Kwanda were holding their ground. Lucas was toiling a little further back having been sick the past week.
Eric was out onto the bike course first, but had to stop to re-tie and tuck-away his shoe laces so they wouldn’t catch in the chain, a rookie error. With the course being sandy and technical and not suiting my boys’ skills just yet, I expected them to drop a few positions. However, with a paddle ahead to finish and their persistent ‘race determination’, I was hoping some would sneak into the top ten positions.
Half-way into the first lap of the two 10km lap bike course, I found Mkhonzeni off his bike, almost in tears holding onto a very swollen ankle. He had taken a tumble during the run and had pushed through this far, but now it was too hard to push past the agony of a severely sprained ankle.
With 2km to go on the bike, Nhlanhla (9th position) broke his chain and had to run/push his bike the rest of the way to the paddle transition. Having forgotten his life-jacket in the car, he had to make a 1km dash to the car fetch it, costing him a certain top ten finish.
Eric had an awesome race finishing 5th overall. The junior
seniors, who normally beat him in training.
Zonele being the strongest cyclist said he struggled with the soft sand. Checking his tyres afterwards, they were rock hard, which wouldn’t have helped the situation.
Lucas struggled from the start and never found his legs.
Nhlanhla sabotaged his own race with lack of preparation.
Richard raced consistently and was happy with his position.
Tom and Skhumbuzo are not strong enough in all three disciplines and so take the easier team option.
Team Change a Life Positions
Eric 5th 1:52:55
Kwanda 9th 1:55:49
Zonele 10th 1:57:28
Lucas 18th 2:04:20
Nhlanhla 19th 2:05:17
Richard 21st 2:05:58
Tom and Skhumbuzo 3rd 2:02:23