SA riders finish strongly in BMX races

2010-07-30 00:00

IT was an encouraging day for South Africa as the UCI World BMX Championships got under way at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg yesterday.

The first day of competitive racing saw “challenge” riders between the ages of five and 13 competing in noticeably wintery conditions.

Watching a race without any local participation was a rarity as South African riders featured prominently in the heat or “moto” stages.

By the end of the motos, an impressive 38 of the 83 South African riders who had started out advanced to the quarter-final stages.

A further 16 local riders progressed to the finals and were rewarded with a prized world number, an achievement cherished in BMX racing and awarded only to riders who reach the finals of the World Championships.

The highlight of the day, for South Africa, was provided by eight-year-old Georgina Grassie.

Grassie delighted the home crowd by winning the “Girls 9” category after a final in which she had to fight off strong challenges from Jesse Smith and Mikayla Bearman, both of New Zealand.

Grassie had been strong in the heats and had caught the attention of the 2 000 spectators in attendance.

“I knew I was going to win,” said an elated Grassie.

“Now I will go to next year’s World Championships [in Denmark] to defend my title.”

Grassie paid tribute to local BMX rider Jonnathan Chislett, saying he had given her advice and the confidence to believe in herself.

South African team manager Alan Dodd was satisfied with the way the day had progressed.

“The most world numbers we have ever received at a World Championships before is 12, so we’ve beaten that in one day,” said a smiling Dodd.

“We are hoping to get more and we have our expectations that we’d like to meet.”

Turning to Grassie, Dodd was full of praise for the Johannesburg-based rider’s will to win.

“She’s a feisty little creature and she’s never going to give up for a second,” he said.

“We were expecting a good result from her, but you never know the strength of the opposition.”

Dodd added that Grassie had shown exceptional racing skills in her final victory.

“She closed the door down the rhythm straight and that’s really good racing,” he explained.

“That’s come from her spending time racing on the track in Johannesburg with the Alrode BMX Club.”

There were two other South African medal winners, with Durban based Axel Webster finishing second in the “11 Boys” and Nicole von Munster taking bronze in the “10 Girls”.

Today promises to be another action-packed day of racing as the over- 14 challenge riders take to the track in search of world numbers.

This weekend will see the best BMXers in the business doing battle as the “Elite”categories are decided.

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.