Collin Matiza Sports Editor
THE country’s top female motocross rider Tanya Muzinda has described her maiden appearance at the Thor Winter Olympics Supercross and Motocross Championships (Mini Os) in Florida, United States, last week as an eye-opener despite her failure to get any place on the podium at this major international event.
As expected, Muzinda (14) found that the annual Thor Winter Olympics, which brings together aspiring amateur motocross riders from across the United States and the world, was no place for the faint-hearted after she finished outside the top 10 in both Supercross and motocross events at this six-day motorcycling jamboree which ran from November 19 to 24 at the famous Gatorback Cycle Park in Florida.
At this year’s 47th edition of the Thor Winter Olympics, the talented Zimbabwean female rider first competed in the Supercross’ Senior Girls 12-16 age-group event and came 16th overall out of 17 riders who competed in this division.
According to reports from Florida, Muzinda came 14th in Moto 1 of the Supercross event before she was placed 16th in Moto 2 for her overall 16th place finish.
After competing in the Supercross event, Muzinda was involved in the three-day motocross racing which ran from last Thursday to Saturday and she was placed 17th overall in a field of 21 girls after having first came 19th in Moto 1 before improving to 15th place in Moto 2.
And her father and trainer Tawanda Muzinda said his daughter gained some invaluable experience at the competition despite her failure to get anywhere near the top 10 in both Supercross and motocross events at this tough international competition.
“When you have a personal idea of the top game, you have a good sight to chase… Competing at this year’s Thor Winter Olympics was a big eye-opener and now we have the idea and plan to reach to the top.
“Racing with top girls from 52 States all over the United States, Europe and South America, you can’t ask for more exposure. Next year, it’s more and intense preparations for international assignments and plans are in place for another dance at the Mini Os,” Tawanda Muzinda said after the final day of the Thor Winter Olympics on Saturday.
He added: “This is the world stage where you get world rankings in different classes. But besides that, the difference between Tanya’s times with the top girls was 20 to 30 seconds which can be worked upon.
“Tanya is a magnet here… With what she did here she got acknowledgement with a whole host including the KTM team. The bike she got here was scary fast on the race day and there’s no bike like that in Africa… It’s an 85 but it’s called super mini 112 and it took her a bit to get used to the speed.
“It’s a super machine and a big difference from the one that she was training with.”
Tawanda Muzinda also said Tanya ended up being the centre of attraction during the Games as she was Zimbabwe’s sole representative at the six-day Supercross and motocross fiesta after her compatriot Regan Wasmuth pulled out injured during practice last Tuesday.
“The Stewarts’ sent a film crew to follow her races and they also followed other black riders and the Videographer mentioned that they were under strict instructions to follow her as they also have a racing team which she might join in the future,” Tawanda Muzinda said.
Tanya is expected back home in Zimbabwe on Friday.