Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
THREE top junior riders from Bulawayo will represent Zimbabwe at the BMX World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, from June 3-8.
Liam Nel (10), Kai Wilmans (7) and Michelle Knott (12) were selected following their impressive performances in local competitions. Knott is the only girl from Bulawayo who made the national team grade.
The trio will join the rest of the team in Harare ahead of their departure for the east European nation.
BMX coach Tatenda Mbalame, who has been working with the Bulawayo trio, said he was confident they would excel.
“I have been working with them for some time now and they have responded positively to training. I am looking forward to seeing them raising the Zimbabwean flag high in Azerbaijan. I have confidence in them and am certain they will do extremely well in Baku,” said Mbalame.
Zim Cycling president Norman Bourne said: “This is not only a great opportunity for Bulawayo, but for Zimbabwe. This stage will be a very good opportunity to expose these guys to the international scene. With Knott, she has a few riders so we are expecting her to do well and we obviously expect her to get into the final and win a world plate.
“With Wilmans, he is very young and the most important thing for now is to participate and gain that valuable experience. Liam has a tough task, but we expect him to get to the semis if not the finals. The problem with BMX is that it is an extreme sport and anything can happen on the day, but the expectation is that Team Zimbabwe does well in Baku.”
Zim BMX squad
Graeme du Plooy, Benjamin Oberholzer, Rebekah Oberholzer, Michelle Knott, Daniel Collett, Emmanuel Gore, Tariq Shelton, Willem Krause, Marcus Nascimento, Kai Wilmans, Liam Nel