Pietermaritzburg’s BMX star Shai Duke-Norris — who has just been discharged from hospital after a serious operation — and two other local riders have been selected to the South African team for the UCI BMX World Championships in the Netherlands.
The World Champs are scheduled to take place in the city of Arnhem from August 17 to 22.
The other two riders from Pietermaritzburg BMX Club that will be heading to the European country are teenager Tyler Thompson and Alexandra Thompson of Eastwood, who won three silvers in the 11-13 girls class at the Gauteng leg of the South African BMX Cup.
The 33-year-old Duke-Norris, who had to go under the knife yesterday after struggling with kidney stones for weeks said he expects to have healed by the time of the World Champs.
“I’ve been in and out of hospital, but everything is out now and I’m all clear,” said Duke-Norris.
“I heard the big news of being selected yesterday (Tuesday) and I had to go to a hospital today.
“By the time of the tournament, I will be fully fit and ready to compete. Also from July 9 to 11, we’ve got the SA Cup here in Maritzburg and I have about three weeks to get ready for that because I’ve been not able to ride for a month. But I will take part in that as well.
“Now that everything is out, I will be able to train in three or four days.”
Duke-Norris, who won the SA Champs last year, believes he will be more than ready to carry out his mission to make the podium in the Netherlands as there are a number of events before the trip to Europe he will use to prepare.
“I think I have about 12 races before the World Champs, and I will be looking to put them all in the bag,” said the rider.
“I think the biggest thing for me would be to make it to the final and after that, I will try to make the podium.”