Young wins in Botswana

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Faith Mutema Harare Bureau

JU­NIOR Zimbabwean fe­male mo­tocross rider LeighAnne Young wowed other mo­to­sport fa­nat­ics when she scooped the 125cc Class ti­tle dur­ing the fi­nal round of the South­ern Africa Cham­pi­onships se­ries which was re­cently held in Fran­cis­town, Botswana.

Young’s re­mark­able feat saw her be­com­ing the first ever fe­male rider from Zimbabwe to win the re­gional mo­tocross ti­tle.

The event in Botswana was the fourth and fi­nal round of this year’s South­ern Africa Chal­lenge se­ries whose other rounds were held dur­ing the year in Zam­bia, South Africa and Zimbabwe; and there were more than 34 par­tic­i­pants.

And 15-year-old Young won all her six races in the South­ern Africa Chal­lenge se­ries in which she amassed a to­tal of 120 points to emerge vic­to­ri­ous in the 125cc Class.

Young com­mented that she was proud to be crowned the South­ern Africa Chal­lenge’s 125cc Class fe­male cham­pion con­sid­er­ing she had stopped par­tic­i­pat­ing reg­u­larly.

“I’m very happy to be the first young fe­male rider from Zimbabwe to re­ceive this ti­tle.

“It feels so good es­pe­cially given that I was skip­ping many events be­cause of school com­mit­ments.

“I’m deter­mined to start be­ing com­pet­i­tive from this point on­wards and want to par­tic­i­pate in as many events as I can and I also owe it to my dad (Ray) who has al­ways made sure I pre­pare be­fore every race and sup­ported me through every prac­tice ses­sion,” she said.

Leigh-Anne is now look­ing for­ward to take part in the Zimbabwe Sum­mer Se­ries at Don­ny­brook in Harare in De­cem­ber where in­ter­na­tional and re­gional riders are ex­pected to par­tic­i­pate.

Mean­while, there was no stop­ping an­other young Zimbabwean mo­tocross rider Jor­dan Dewd­ney dur­ing the same fi­nal round of the 2016 South­ern Africa Chal­lenge se­ries in Botswana where he swept the board in the 50cc Class. Fresh from fin­ish­ing third over­all in the 50cc Class in the tough seven-round 2016 South African Na­tional Cham­pi­onship Se­ries, Dewd­ney was a just a ball of fire in the fourth and fi­nal round of the South­ern Africa Chal­lenge event in Botswana, win­ning all the three heats in the same class to take the first step on the podium.

Dewd­ney was just a joy to watch as he took to the laps and jumps in style, giv­ing spectators some­thing to savour af­ter com­plet­ing a lap.

But since the nine-year-old Lil­for­dia Pri­mary School pupil missed the Zam­bian round of the se­ries at the be­gin­ning of the year, it was not pos­si­ble for him to be crowned the over­all win­ner of the four-round com­pe­ti­tion whose penul­ti­mate round was held at Don­ny­brook in Harare last month.

A ju­nior rider from Botswana, Nathan Ber­rie, won the cham­pi­onship as he did all the four rounds, start­ing the year 60 points ahead of Dewd­ney but the tal­ented Zimbabwean rider won all of the heats in the three other races he did and ended up 16 points be­hind the over­all win­ner. Two other young Zimbabwean riders, Tris­tan Grainger and Kuda Mhene (Jnr), also com­peted in Botswana last week­end where they did them­selves and the na­tion proud by tak­ing the first two places in the boys 85cc Class.

Grainger, the son of Gary Grainger, the chair­man of the Bog­wheel­ers Club who run the mo­tor­cy­cling sport of mo­tocross in Zimbabwe, rode bril­liantly in the 85cc Class, out­fox­ing the field to come out tops in this sec­tion fol­lowed by fel­low Zimbabwean Mhene (Jnr).

An­other top Zimbabwean ju­nior rider Daiyaan Manuel also did well in Botswana, com­ing first in the 65cc Class.

Team Zimbabwe’s Ash­ley Thix­ton also made a state­ment when he took the first step on the podium in the MX2 Class. Other Zimbabwean win­ners included De­clan Bar­ret, who came third in 50cc Class, Tris­tan Versveld (third in the 65cc Class), Mudiwa Chigumba (third in the 85cc Class), Joshua Gobey (se­cond in the 125cc Class) Ryan Webb (third po­si­tion in the 125cc class) and Luke Wheeler who came se­cond over­all in the MX1 Class.

All these Zimbabwean riders are now ex­pected to take a short break be­fore they start pre­par­ing for the sea­so­nend­ing Zimbabwe Sum­mer Se­ries which is sched­uled to be held at Don­ny­brook in Harare dur­ing the se­cond week of De­cem­ber.

This year's Zimbabwe Sum­mer Se­ries, which is set to be held on De­cem­ber 14, 16 and 18 at Don­ny­brook, will con­sist of two Su­per­cross (night rac­ing) events and one mo­tocross com­pe­ti­tion with all the top ju­nior and se­nior riders from South Africa, Botswana, Swazi­land, Zam­bia and the hosts Zimbabwe ex­pected to take part.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.