By Collin Matiza
Regan Wasmuth was the star of the show for Zimbabwe as they settled for second place behind South Africa to walk away with a silver medal at this year’s FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations Championships which were held over the weekend at Mindola Park in Kitwe, Zambia.
South Africa-based Wasmuth (17) rode brilliantly during the two days of the big continental motorcycling event to emerge as the overall winner of the 125cc Class to help Team Zimbabwe to amass a total of 664 points.
These, however, were not good enough to stop South Africa from retaining the African title after they garnered a massive 794 points at the end of business on Sunday.
South Africa also beat Zimbabwe into second place during last year’s African Championships which were staged in Botswana.
At this year’s event, hosts Zambia came third with 490 points while the last three places went to Uganda (325 points), Botswana (165 points) and Kenya (52 points).
This year’s African Championships attracted more than 200 junior and senior male and female riders from six countries – Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe and the hosts Zambia – and they competed in nine classes – 50cc, 65cc, 85cc, 125cc, MX1, MX2, Veterans, Masters and Ladies.
Team Zimbabwe owe their second-place finish to young Wasmuth who emerged as the top dog in the 125cc Class with 60 points and managed to beat his South African rival Justin Sangster into second place in this division which had 15 riders.
Wasmuth’s exploits on the track helped Zimbabwe to pick up 99 points in the 125cc Class in which he represented his country alongside Tristan Grainger, Liam Le Roux, Jayden Young and David Evans.
Zimbabwe also did well in the Veterans Class in which they fielded two riders Warren Thorne and Doug Mellor who combined to pick up 111 points for their country in this division in which they beat South Africa (39 points) into second place.
In the MX2 Class, Zimbabwe had three riders Ashley Thixton, Josh Goby and Bradley Perry; and they managed to put together 86 points on the board for their country as they came second behind South Africa (101 points) in this class.
South Africa-based Ashwell had given Zimbabwe a good start in the MX1 Class after he came second behind South Africa’s Mathew Malan in Heat One in which another Zimbabwean rider Cameron Thixton came eighth on Saturday.
There were 23 riders in the main MX1 Class.
In the 65cc Class, Zimbabwe fielded five young riders Emmanuel Bako, who had a minor back operation last Monday, Jordan Dewdney, Dillan Fassen, Munyaradzi Bako and Declan Barrett; and they combined to pick up 58 points which were way off South Africa’s 111 points.
The 65cc Class had a strong field of 25 young riders.
Leigh-Anne Young and Bianca Beling represented Zimbabwe in the Ladies Class and they managed to pick up 54 points to finish third behind Zambia (111 points) and South Africa (76 points).