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Jaco misses final but Ernst has extra reason to celebrate

Track cyclist Jaco Nel rode another personal best at the Paralympics here on Friday but failed to progress through to the final.

Nel, who ended 11th in Thursday’s C1-3 one-kilometre time trial, set a Paralympic record that stood ever so briefly before it was overtaken during the heats.

On Friday he raced the individual C2 pursuit and ended with a time of 4min 127.794 and in 10th spot. Only four riders went through to the final and he would have needed to ride a 3:54.946 or quicker.

But the system is loaded against riders suffering from cerebral palsy related handicaps. Of the 12 riders in qualifying up to eight were amputee-riders and they clearly have an advantage over CP competitors.

Friday also saw former South African Krige Schabort hooking up with South Africans in the village.

Schabort has lived in the United States for the last 15 years and this is his first Paralympics in Team US colours.

“My wife Caron and I have lived in Cedartown, Georgia for ages now. We still make boerewors and try to get back to SA as much as we can. Caron comes from Somerset West.

“We were due to come back recently but then my one boy got an ear infection the day before we flew so we had to stay at home.”

The Schaborts have three kids aged 10, eight and two. “I’m racing the 5000m tonight and then the marathon the last day of the competition, so have to stay focused for the entire games,” he said.

One of Schabort’s former rivals, Ernst van Dyk, is in Team South Africa for the Paralympics and had a new reason to smile on Friday after his wife gave birth to a baby girl named Sunel, a sister for Lexie.


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