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Golden girl Marais on the mend after eventful Italian trip
- Updated: June 22, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s H2 double gold hand-cycling medallist at the recent World Cup in Italy, Justine Marais left that country to return home with both more and less than she bargained for!
She left in a lot more discomfort than she would have liked after fracturing her foot at the medal ceremony and then also had to return home without her baggage after a breakdown in communication.
She told Road to Rio 2016 this week. ‘It was one helluva week. I’m super chuffed to have brought back two gold medals as well as the fact that I have more competition in the H2 class which means the sport is growing.
‘On the downside I had a bit of a fall coming down the podium ramp after receiving my second gold medal, my front little wheels of the wheelchair hit a bump on the ramp and I went tumbling out of my wheelchair, and ended up fracturing my foot.
‘I was in a lot of pain and then had to proceed back up the ramp onto the podium to receive the World Cup leaders jersey, masking my pain with a smile…so it seems I can’t leave Italy without injuring my feet because you may remember I broke both feet on my first World Cup back in 2013 in a crash during a rain storm.
‘Then to top it all, my luggage got left behind in Italy on the hotel steps, and we only discovered this once I was at the airport, which was a four-hour trip from the hotel.
‘Fortunately I got it back today as my team manager arranged for someone to drive back there after the Swiss World Cup. I returned home after the Italian World Cup to recover and initiate training towards my second World Cup in a few weeks in Germany and then the World Championships in Switzerland the week after that.
‘I’m just super happy to be back home and training and also really excited about the future competitions.’