Zim Motocross riders shine in Zambia
Tadious Manyepo-Youth Interactive Writer
FOUR Zimbabwean riders, including the iconic Nyamupfukudza siblings, Victor and Tadiwanashe, reminded the continent just how good they are when they pulled up classy performances in the fourth round of the 2022 Zambian Motocross Championships at the Eureka Moto Park in Lusaka, Zambia, on Sunday.
It was refreshing to see the Zimbabweans doing well at a time when most of the racers are coming back into competition after a lengthy lay-off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
If anything, they were only trying to get back into the competitive groove they are used to while also taking the race as their launch pad to prepare for the upcoming FIM Africa Motocross of African Nations (MXOAN) Championships to be staged in Uganda from August 19 to 21.
Tariq Shelton was the toast of the show for the Zimbabwean riders as he graced the podium twice, winning the boys race in the 85cc Class while also coming second in the 125cc Class.
But it was 13-year-old Tadiwanashe Nyamupfukudza, a Form Two pupil at ZRP High School in Harare, who defied the odds, winning the Ladies 125cc Class race.
She wasn’t expected to do well in this competition given she had never raced in the past two years as she tried to settle at high school during a pandemic that halted every sporting discipline in this country.
So composed was Tadiwanashe in a contest she faced-off boys that most riders mobbed her after she hit the finish line.
Her sibling, Victor (8), was at his usual best in the 50cc Class where he came second behind Zambia’s Leo Eastcroft (9) in a scintillating contest that left the crowd roaring for more.
Both Victor and Tadiwanashe are scheduled to debut at the MXOAN in Uganda this August.
The premium continental motocross competition had been frozen for the past two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic and makes a return in Entebbe, Uganda, this year.
Victor knows the experience, having competed in the PeeWees Class during the same competition in 2019 in Zimbabwe but the PeeWee category is not recognised under the MXOAN.
He came out first in that race and he will be hoping to do well in Uganda, if his father, who also doubles up as the siblings’ trainer, gets sponsorship for their participation in the east African country.
The Nyamupfukudzas need at least US$15 000 for their participation in Uganda.
“I am very happy the kids (Tadiwanashe and Victor) managed to do well and raise the country’s flag high during last weekend’s event in Lusaka, Zambia,” said their father Simbarashe.
“I am also very happy that some of the riders from Zimbabwe also did well in the race meeting in Lusaka. If we work very hard as a country, we have the potential to conquer the world indeed.
“We are already preparing to participate at the MXOAN to be held in Uganda in August. We are looking for sponsorship as we begin intensive preparation for the big continental event.
“We have to see how we can balance the two, racing and schooling, for the two (Tadiwanashe and Victor) as we progress towards August. We are delighted to have brought medals for the country from Zambia. I would also like to thank the authorities at ZRP High School for allowing Tadiwanashe to go and race in Zambia.
“She really did herself and the nation proud by winning the Ladies Class,” Simbarashe Nyamupfukudza said.
Besides the trio of Shelton and the Nyamupfukudza siblings, another Zimbabwean rider, Quinton Le Roux, also did well after coming second in the Veterans Class.
Sunday’s event in Lusaka was the first national event to be hosted at Eureka in over 15 years.
Total rider turnout was 55 with 10 riders from Zimbabwe.
“The track conditions were spectacular and we hope to attract more Zim riders when Eureka Motocross club next hosts a national event,’’ said one of the event’s organisers, Craig Eastcroft, on Tuesday.