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BMX aces looking to tear up the track at World Championships
- Updated: July 17, 2015
By Mark Etheridge
Nineteen daredevils in the shape of the South African BMX team have jetted over to Europe for next week’s World Championships in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium.
Among them will be 2016 Olympic Games hopefuls Kyle Dodd and Teagan O’Keeffe and the world championships will be crucial for their Road to Rio journey.
Part of their team in a duel competing/coaching capacity is KwaZulu-Natal’s Tyron Johns.
He told Road to Rio 2016: ‘ I’ll be racing and coaching. I’m the current 30+Male 20 inch world champion so I’m going to defend my title and then at the same time I’m also team coach.’
What can the South African public expect from this team?
‘There is always the chance of medals and this year is very exciting. Kita Uys has a world ranking from last year and she will be trying to get even a better result.
‘Manqoba Madida [pictured above] and Dylan Eggar are really in top form. While in South Africa they race in the Elite gate they have tons of experience and are really flying. Kane Herbert is always a solid rider and going to give it a real go of achieving a higher number than last year.’
In terms of Olympics, Worlds are not to be missed.
‘This event is huge and you can gain so many points at the event. Teagan is definitely training hard to get herself into a spot at the Olympics although unfortunately Kyle, our leading Elite rider, took a terrible crash that has put him out for a few months so he won’t be participating at the Champs but he will be back soon at the other World Cup Events later this year,’ said Johns who was part of the coaching/management team for BMX at last year’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.
In terms of experience this team is looking good. ‘I think the whole team have participated in a World Championship before. So they have got the experience… now they need to get the results. This will be a very big world championships with lots of athletes participating so it will be very interesting to see how things go.’
In terms of the track that lies in wait for the South Africans, it shouldn’t hold too many unknown perils.
‘It’s an outdoor existing track that was raced on in the Euro Rounds 1 and 2 so we have all had a chance to see it on videos and see the different choice in lines that the other athletes take.’
The full team to take on the world in Belgium is:
Marco Cherti, Lauren Coetzee, Dylan Eggar, Jarod Ellse, Georgina Grassie, Ethan Goveia, Kane Herbert, Tyrone Johns, Tyler Klumper, Teagan O’Keeffe, Deagan McCallum, Manqoba Madida, Tim O’Brien, Francois Smith, Kaylin Smith, Connor Terblanche, Kita Uys, Kyla Uys, Dirk Uys
Picture of Manqoba, courtesy of Kevin Bender