Second-placed paddler hit by rocks near Dusi’s end

2014-02-17 00:00

DESPITE being hit on the head by a rock thrown from the river bank, and cutting her knee after a bad fall on the first day, Dusi Canoe Marathon runner-up Anna Adamova will be back for next year’s race.

Speaking to The Witness yesterday evening, the paddler from the Czech Republic said she was left disappointed by the incident in which she was hit twice on the head.

“It was my first time doing the Dusi, so that was what disappointed me. But, I want to say thank you to everyone that helped and I’m proud of this achievement,” said Adamova, who finished the women’s K2 race in second place with her partner Abbey Adie.

Adamova had also paddled for two days with a cut knee after a hard fall on day one and is due to have it looked at today when she goes to hospital.

“It’s still a bit swollen and has some infection I think. I will go to the hospital tomorrow. My head will be fine, I hope,” she said, laughing.

Asked if she wanted to come back next year, Adamova said: “I really want to come back. You will see me again next year.”

Describing the whole incident, her partner Adie said as they approached the exit for the Burma Road portage they she noticed some youngsters throwing rocks.

“I was so focused on the race, I only realised they were throwing rocks when Anna became hysterical and said she’d been hit on the head. We paddled on for a while and another rock hit her,” said Adie, who was also hit.

“We started screaming at them and they scattered,” she said. “It was only when we finished did I see the seriousness of it when I saw how much she was bleeding. She’s fine today, and was even being chirpy.”

Dusi chairperson Cameron McKenzie described the incident as unfortunate, and said police had been called to watch the area. For the upcoming Non- Stop Dusi in two weeks, and for other future events, he said they would place extra security on the river banks.

“That was an unfortunate incident that dented what was a good event,” McKenzie told The Witness.

“Up until that moment, this was one of the most incident-free Dusis. There had been no break-ins and everything had gone smoothly. We are very disappointed by that,” he said.

McKenzie also spoke about the bright future of the young paddlers that came through this year, particularly the Haw sisters, Tamika and Bianca, who finished third in the women’s race, and Damon Stamp and Mthobisi Cele, who just missed out on a top-10 finish.

On the Non-Stop Dusi, McKenzie said he would be very surprised if Lance Kime and Thulani Mbanjwa didn’t come out and exorcise the ghosts of last week’s race in which they broke their boat on day one. Having finished day one in 17th place, Kime and Mbanjwa recovered well to finish fourth overall, an achievement McKenzie said was remarkable.

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