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Mbanjwa, Zondi 10th
- Updated: October 23, 2011
Equipment failure marred the final of the world marathon championships for the South African team in Singapore,┬á just a day after they had celebrated Hank McGregor snatching the world K1 crown for a second time.
The experienced K2 crew of Ant Stott and Graeme Solomon, who have prioritised their challenge for a medal at this event, were well placed in the first chasing group, when they ran into problems with their rudder on lap three.
They stopped in the middle of the Singapore Marina to try and remedy the problem but after soldiering on they were forced to withdraw from the race.
Behind them the popular crew of Michael Mbanjwa and Eric Zondi, the first black K2 crew to represent South Africa at the World Marathon Championships, finished in 10th place after playing a dominant role in the second chasing bunch throughout the race.
Mbanjwa and Zondi looked out of sorts at the portage takes out on the unique floating soccer field in the Marina, with several boats being dragged over their craft on the second portage. However they used their legendary running skills with the boat to good advantage to erase any time lost at the take-outs.
Stott and Solomon were not the only crew to be hamstrung by rudder problems. The Spanish boat stroked by Emilio Marchand was forced to withdraw while leading the race early on after damaging their rudder during the first portage.
Stott and Solomon however will be bitterly disappointed. Their last challenge for a world cup medal was ended in identical fashion when they damaged their rudder.
The Singapore Marina provided very hot and humid conditions, with the ferries that cross the waterway providing troublesome waves for the paddlers who race without splashcovers and take in water from the ferryboat waves.