Shingi Mugabe Sports Reporter
SOUTH Africa successfully defended their FIM Africa Motor cross Challenge Rally in a tightly contested event at Donnybrook yesterday with Zimbabwe coming in a close second and Uganda third. Zimbabwe’s Jayden Ashwell managed to win the MX1 title after a tight contest from Botswana’s Wayne Berrie who came in second and Uganda’s Tahla Kiggundu, but nothing stopped the South Africans topping the overall standings.
“It was a tight race, I did the best I could to hold first position and I won the race. It was not as easy to win even though we are used to the course, but there are some good riders out there and I just needed to be at my best and win the race,” Ashwell said. Emmanuel Bako came in first in the junior category MX50CC race coming out as one of the best junior riders at the event.
Sean White who was co-ordinating the event expressed his gratitude to the riders and the effort they put in to give Zimbabwe a better finish in the contest. “The moto-cross championships came to an end today with South Africa coming out on top again and retaining their title. Zimbabwe came in second after a valiant fight.
“We had some good riders who come in first winning some races, but we just couldn’t get the edge over the defending champions who had more podium places than we did. “We had a good time this weekend and the turnout was great, we had a few difficulties at the border were some of the bikes could not cross in to Zimbabwe, but we had that sorted out and all the riders managed to participate in the competition and it turned out very well,’’ White said.
White said it was a well deserved result for Team Zimbabwe, but the riders need to get more exposure for them to be able to compete on a higher level. “We won some races and that’s good for most of our riders because they have a sense of achievement. “We just need to compete more and win more races to beat the defending champions South Africa.
“It’s a well deserved result we did our best, but we didn’t win and beat South Africa who are our main competition at this tournament. Our riders just need to compete on that level so we can be able to contest on that level and be able to win on home soil.
“South Africa is a tough contender and there are some pretty good riders in Africa, we just need to push a bit more to be able to beat South Africa. Second is not a bad positions, but we just need to push more to be competitive and be the best at what we do,” White said.