Collin Matiza Sports Editor
ONE of the country’s top junior motocross riders Emmanuel Bako is a major doubt for this coming weekend’s FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships in Kitwe, Zambia, after he suffered a back injury during the fifth round of the 2018 South African National Championship series in Cape Town on Saturday.
According to Bako’s father and manager, Brighton, the 12-year-old rider crashed and landed badly on his back while leading in Heat One of the 65cc Class at Zone 7 in Cape Town and had to undergo a minor operation on his back at a private hospital in Harare yesterday morning.
“Emmanuel was leading the pack in Heat One but he unfortunately crashed on the bad track (they call them ruts) and hurt his back.
“We had to take him to the hospital where the doctor performed a minor operation on his back where he drained some fluid this morning (yesterday)… It was just a small procedure.
“The doctor said it will take about two weeks for the wound to heal and hopefully he will be fully recovered to take part in the last round of the South African Nationals towards the end of October.
“But as for this coming weekend’s African Championships in Zambia, I think it will be too early for him to compete at this event.
“His bikes are also still in Cape Town,” Brighton “Bucks” Bako told The Herald yesterday.
At this year’s FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships in Zambia, Emmanuel was expected to represent Team Zimbabwe in the 65cc Class alongside his cousin Munyaradzi.
Six other top junior riders Dillan Faasen, Jordan Dewdney, Declan Barrett, Hunter Moore, Blake Prinsloo and Jack Gobey are now expected to represent Zimbabwe in the 65cc Class in Kitwe this weekend.
But the country’s top female rider Tanya Muzinda (13) will not be part of Team Zimbabwe in Zambia for “some technical reasons” and this will see only two female riders – Leigh-Anne Young and Bianca Beling – carrying the country’s flag in the Ladies Class during this event.
They were all initially included in a strong 44-member Team Zimbabwe for this year’s African Championships which was recently named by the Bogwheelers Club, who run the motorcycling sport of motocross in this country.
The Bogwheelers Club also named one of their committee members, Owen Robinson, as the team captain of Team Zimbabwe for this year’s African Championships and he said he felt honoured to be given the opportunity of leading the team at this big continental event.
“I am very honoured to have been chosen to lead our team to the FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships in Kitwe, Zambia, this coming weekend.
“Most of the riders in the team have now completed their training programme although we had a few riders who competed in the South African Nationals in Cape Town this last Saturday.
“We also have a few riders who finished their training programme this last weekend at Donnybrook and I think we are good to go for the African Championships,” Robinson said.
Warren Wasmuth is the team manager.
This year’s African Championships will be held at Mindola Motocross Park in Kitwe where the Zimbabwean riders will pit their skills against fellow top junior and senior male and female riders from Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Swaziland and the hosts Zambia.
South Africa are the defending champions after they were crowned the overall winners of this annual continental event ahead of Zimbabwe in Botswana last year.