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Van Dyk wins bronze… now for Boston Marathon

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Six-time Paralympian Ernst van Dyk missed out on gold but picked up yet another prestigious podium finish at the London Marathon at the weekend, writes Mark Etheridge.

And now it’s across the Atlantic Ocean for Stellenbosch’s Van Dyk as he hunts down an unprecedented 10th victory at the Boston Marathon in the United States on Monday.

Van Dyk had to be happy with the bronze medal in the wheelchair division on Sunday as Switzerland’s Marcel Hug finally shrugged off his bridesmaid’s tag after ending runner-up in 2010, 2012 and last year.

Hug clocked 1hr 32min 41sec to outsprint six-time winner David Weir by a second with Van Dyk right on his wheel in third.

A philosophical Van Dyk knows that he wasn’t at his best in London and will be looking for better things in Boston.

“I’m slowly getting there,” he told Road to Rio 2016. “I wasn’t feeling great and was suffering after I picked up a cold but nothing serious.

“It was a fast paced race in very tough conditions, windy and the pace was relentless.

“We were a group of over 25 for a long time but I was able to read the tactics and find myself in the right spots at the right times and was there for all the big moves. I found myself chasing down a lot of surges by Hug and Japan’s Kota Hokinoue and towards the last 5km tried one big move to break them and avoid a sprint finish.

“But Weir accelerated and closed the gap. A sprint finish coming out of a turn was always going to be against me so I did what I could to get to a different outcome but they had it covered.”

Van Dyk was a gracious loser though. “Hug was clearly the strongest on the day and it was fitting that he won” he deserved it.”

The South African will now rest and recuperate until Tuesday before moving camp to Boston. “Then we start the mental preparation as we built to Monday.”

Picture: Getty Images


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