Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
THE Bogwheelers Club chairman Rick Goby is confident Zimbabwe’s riders for the 2018 FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships in Zambia this month stand a good chance of challenging for top spot.
The motorcyling championships are scheduled to run from August 17 to 19 at Mindola Motocross Park in Kitwe, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will field a strong 44-member team at the annual continental event.
Goby said preparations have been going well and he believes, with a bigger team this year, Zimbabwe, who came second behind South Africa with 18 riders in the last competition, have a good chance.
“We have got 44 riders that are going to participate in Mindola, Kitwe. We are very prepared, the Zimbabwe team is very prepared.
‘’We have been doing a lot of training sessions, the riders seem to be pretty fit and they are very well prepared and very disciplined at the moment.
“Obviously, this is a two-day event, it happens on Saturday and Sunday. As of yesterday we were the biggest team in Africa going to the event.
“They had one last year, which was in Botswana and we came second. Only with 18 riders we came second last year,” said Goby of local borehole drilling company Tandamanzi Drilling.
However, the Bogwheelers Club chairman is aware that with reigning champions South Africa dominating in recent years, and Zambia among the participating countries, they will have to be on top of their game.
“South Africa will be our biggest challenge followed by Zambia. But we are hoping to bring the title home.
Other countries expected to come for the event are Angola, Botswana, Swaziland, Uganda, Kenya and Congo.
Most of Team Zimbabwe riders are expected to leave for Zambia next Thursday ahead of the event and Goby said individuals are meeting their expenses.
“What we are doing is people are individually taking their bikes… So it’s just individual transport that people are using.
“In our team we have a rider by the name Emmanuel Bako, he is currently leading the South African Championships in the 65cc Class and we have Daiyaan Manuel, who was the 65cc champion last year.
“So this is the type of people we have got in our team, we have got very good guys, we have got Jayden Ashwell, Regan Wasmuth and Ashley Thixton,” said Goby.
Goby said it’s unfortunate that the country’s top female rider Tanya Muzinda will not be part of the team although they would have wanted her to be in Zambia.
“We would love to have her on the team. Every single rider plays an integral part in our team. We will definitely need every rider we can get,” said Goby.
Muzinda’s father and trainer, Tawanda, revealed last week that she won’t be part of Team Zimbabwe at this year’s African Championships “due to technical reasons”.
“Tanya will not take part in this year’s FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships (in Zambia) on technical reason.’’
Warren Wasmuth is the team manager.
50cc Class: Luke Southon, Karl Van As, Callum Moore, Willem Krause.
65cc Class: Dillan Faasen, Emmanuel Bako, Jordan Dewdney, Declan Barrett, Hunter Moore, Blake Prinsloo, Jack Gobey, Munyaradzi Bako.
85cc Class: Daiyaan Manuel, Ricky Whyte, Jamie Doran, Tristan Versfeld, Cameron Mellor.
125cc Class: Regan Wasmuth, Tristan Grainger, Jayden Young, David Evans, Liam LeRoux, Luke Doran.
MX1 Class: Jayden Ashwell, Cameron Thixton, Daniel Law, John Evans, Frik Prinsloo, Hamish Perry, Ross Bredenkamp.
MX2 Class: Ashley Thixton, Joshua Goby, Tafadzwa Mawarire, Jarques Du Plessis, Bradley Perry.
Ladies Class: Leigh-Anne Young, Bianca Beling.
Veterans Class: Warren Thorne, Doug Mellor, Phil Dos Santos, Mark Ziemann.
Masters Class: Shane Thomas, Lofty Versfeld, Jim Perry.