Van Dyk gets 2015 season going Down Under | SASCOC - SASCOC

Van Dyk gets 2015 season going Down Under


London Paralympics silver medallist Ernst van Dyk has got his year off to a busy start with some wheelchair track and road racing in Australia, writes Mark Etheridge.
First up he competed at the Summer Down Under 2015 Series. ‘I did some track racing in Canberra in the week leading up to the Oz Day 10km. In the first meeting I finished sixth in both the 1500 and 5000m races but my speed just wasn’t there,’ Van Dyk told Road to Rio 2016.
‘The funny thing was that both my times were still good enough for A qualifying times for the IPC Athletes World Championships in Doha later this year.
‘In the next meeting I moved up to fourth in the 1500 (same time as my first track race) and then fifth in the 5000m with a slightly faster time.’
Then it was on to the road for the 10km race, which was contested in rainy conditions. He took second spot on that occasion, clocking 22min 10.6sec as Japan’s Kota Hokinoue won in 21:35.4.
‘I was also first in the masters division,’ he laughed. ‘The fields were very strong as everybody was chasing qualifying times on the track for Doha – I think just two of the world’s best were not present namely David Weir and Marcel Hug.
Now back in South Africa, Van Dyk has some local races to focus on, namely the annual OCC 42.2km road race in George, an event that Van Dyk has won at least six times in the 11 years he’s been racing it.
‘Then’s it’s the Argus in March followed soon after by the New York half-marathon.’
This year’s scheduling will see Van Dyk miss the IPC Athletics World Championships. ‘It’s right between the Chicago and New York Mararathons so London will be our IPC world champs for this year.’
The IPC awarded the hosting rights of the world championships marathon to London this year as Doha presented a number of challenges in this regard.
Boston, where he has won a record 10 times, will be his first marathon of 2015 followed by London. ‘After that I get into the hand cycling season with two World Cups in Italy and Switzerland in June.’