Birkett, Zondi extend Dusi lead

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iol spt dec14 Dusi Canoeists Reuters Lance Kime and Thulani Mbanjwa will look to bounce back from their Dusi Canoe Marathon disappointment at this year's Non-Stop Dusi Canoe Marathon. File photo: Rogan Ward

Hillcrest – Andy Birkett and Sbonelo Zondi turned in another commanding display on day two of the Dusi canoe race, extending their overall lead to almost nine minutes at Inanda Dam, near Hillcrest, on Friday.

The pre-race favourites won the second stage in a time of two hours, 57 minutes and 02 seconds for overall time of 5:30.33, two thirds into the 63rd edition of the world famous race, which is a K2 or doubles classification in 2014.

They stretched their lead to eight minutes and 56 seconds over Hank McGregor and Jasper Mocke (5:39.52), dominating the stage between Dusi Bridge and Inanda Dam after only really losing time during the opening quarter of the stage.

Cam Schoeman and Czech rowing star Adam Jakub remained in third place with an overall time of 5:50.30, with Kwanda Mhlophe and Zonele Nzuza (5:58.32) fourth followed by the remarkable recovery of Lance Kime, winner of last year's K1 classification, and Thulani Mbanjwa (5:59.15).

The pair, among the pre-race favourites, began the stage in 17th position, 26 minutes behind the leaders after a woeful day one when they broke their boat early in the race. At the end of day two, they were within nine minutes of a top three overall finish.

After a tight stage one in the women's race, overwhelming favourites and two-time defending champions Robyn Kime and Abbey Ulansky broke away from the field to finish in 6:19.57 with a lead of two minutes and three seconds.

Ana Adamova and Abby Adie, 29 seconds behind at the start, were second in 6:22.00, followed by Haw sisters Tamika and Bianca (6:55.08) who came in third.

The final stage of the 119,62 kilometres race between Inanda Dam and Blue Lagoon takes place on Saturday. – Sapa

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