I'll be back stronger, says Burry Stander

2008-08-25 00:00

Port Shepstone-based Burry Stander finished an impressive 15th in the eight-lap, 35,6-km mountain bike event in Beijing on Saturday.

Starting conservatively in the first lap, Stander climbed through to 12th on the second and ninth in the third, where he remained until the penultimate lap. He paid the price for being over 90 seconds slower than his opening lap to finish 15th in 2:01,58, about six minutes adrift from French winner Julien Absalon.

"I finished a lot stronger and faster than I usually do. This is my first Olympics and I'm happy.

"I'll be back and I'll be stronger," said Stander.

Yolande Speedy was less fortunate in the women's race in the morning. Her slow start put her 27th out of 30 after the first lap. Although she was gradually clawing back places, it wasn't fast enough to avoid being lapped on the fourth of the six-lap, 26,7-km race.

"It's really sad to be pulled off like this. It was a tough race. I had hoped to get into the top 20," said Speedy.

German Sabine Spitz won the race in 1:45,11, beating Poland's Maja Wloszczzowska into second by 41 seconds.

The SA men's hockey team will leave without a win from the tournament, having lost to China 4-3 after extra time on Saturday.

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