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Dodd leads the chase in Colombia as SA racers line up at world championships
- Updated: May 25, 2016
By Mark Etheridge
A small squad of 10 South Africans face one of their biggest challenges as the 2016 UCI World BMX Championships get underway in Medellin, Colombia on Wednesday.
It’s ‘last chance saloon’ for Olympic qualification and Gauteng’s Kyle Dodd (pictured above) represents South Africa’s best chance of pedalling off with one of the last few slots for Rio 2016.
The 22-year-old Alberton cyclist races the men’s elite event which sees competitors from 36 countries around the globe.
Bottom line is that Dodd’s going to have make the quarter-finals to provisionally book his spot on Team South Africa for Rio and then it’s up to Cycling SA and SASCOC to give the stamp of approval.
He spoke to Road to Rio 2016 after a marathon traveling spell of 30 hours.
‘So after quite a long trip we finally made it to Colombia. I must say my expectations of the country were nothing close to what I actually saw! It’s a beautiful country and feels like a typical Durban summer, nice hot days as well as it being a bit humid.
‘Unfortunately the track has been closed off for everyone, as organisers say they want to make it fair for every rider and let everyone see it at the same time.
‘But from videos I have seen it looks really fun and technical although I think the heat and humid air are going to be the biggest battle.
‘My goal to get to Olympics would be to reach a quarter-final in this competition and then go as far as possible.
‘So as I say, that goal is to make the quarter-final and beat the other competing countries for the last few spots. Training until the event has been good and now it’s all down to putting in the final touches, staying calm and executing everything I have practiced. The vibe around the track is uplifting and has given me more motivation to do my best.’
For now though Dodd has a couple of days grace before his racing at the weekend and he’s doing his bit to help the SA team as much as he can.
‘Practice for us only starts on Friday and all the challenge class races will be happening from Wednesday. Seeing as only a small team came over to Colombia myself and coach Jonnathan Chislett took it upon ourselves to help out our team around the challenge track before their events start.
‘So for now all I can do is relax, keep focused on my task at hand, ride a few tracks and enjoy the city and scenery.
The full South African team for World Championships.
Kyle Dodd, Tyrone Johns, Tim O’Brien, Wayne Beadsworth, Colin Menges, Grant Dekker, Justin Dekker, Jarod Ellse, Deagan McCallum and Braden Schutte
Management: Phil Ellse, Roy McCallum, Jonnathan Chislett, Tyrone Johns and Tim O’Brien