No STOTTing him!

2009-01-16 00:00

ANT Stott targeted yesterday’s second day of the Dusi Canoe Marathon as a crucial “moving day” and he duly delivered on his promise to build a significant lead over rival Michael Mbanjwa.

At home in the water, the World Marathon champion exceeded even his own expectations as he opened up a 13-minute lead by the finish at Inanda Dam.

Capitalising on a series of mishaps for first stage winner Mbanjwa, defending champion Stott took his opportunity when Mbanjwa ran into trouble, firstly with a damaged rudder at Nqumeni Hill portage and then at Hippo Rocks.

“I took a big risk at Hippo, because I saw ‘Banji’ on the rocks and I decided to shoot the rapid. I almost swam, but once I got through I tried to open up as big a lead as I could because I knew he would be desperate to catch me,” Stott said at the finish.

Stott’s reward for his risk-taking was a lead that continued to grow as he powered along Inanda Dam.

“I had a brilliant paddle; in fact, it was my best second day paddle ever,” Stott added.

Mbanjwa admitted that his early misfortune did sap his energy somewhat, and he struggled to recover on the river.

“It was definitely a tough day, but I had no choice but to change my rudder at Nqumeni,” he said.

“I lost a lot of time there, and I knew it was going to have a huge impact because Ant was right behind me by then,” he lamented.

The sheer size of the lead means Stott is the overwhelming favourite to succesfully defend his title, but he for one is not admitting as much.

“Burma Road and I are not the best of friends, and this is Michael we are talking about, so I would not be surprised if he made up as much as eight minutes there,” Stott said.

Mbanjwa admitted it will be an uphill struggle for him today, but stopped short of throwing in the towel.

“I will try my very best, and run my hardest at Burma and hope to get as close as I can,” he said.

Third placed Shaun Rubenstein portrayed the spirit of the marathon at the end of day two.

“It’s a pity about ‘Banji’ today, but he is a big guy and I am sure he will bounce back. I look forward to the day when he cracks it on the K1,” he said.

It was an altogether more serene tale in the women’s race, with Abbey Miedema putting together a near-perfect display after a tough first day.

“I had a great day, and I enjoyed the low level,” a beaming Miedema said at the finish.

Miedema even had time to help an ailing Michael Arthur.

“Michael was struggling a bit, and I told him to get on my wave until he got back on track,” she said.

With the senior races nearly decided, the most intriguing battle in today’s final stage could come in the junior boys’ race.

Lance Kime holds a very slender lead over Kwanda Hlophe, and they could provide the most thrilling tussle in today’s final proceedings.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.