Skizo qualifies for Olympics

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iol spt may27 nhlapo Getty Images BMX racer Sifiso Skizo Nhlapo, left, booked his place in the SA team for the London Olympic Games after reaching the quarterfinals of the BMX World Championships in Birmingham, England. File picture.

South African BMX racer Sifiso “Skizo” Nhlapo booked his place in the SA team for the London Olympic Games after reaching the quarterfinals of the BMX World Championships in Birmingham, England, on Saturday night.

Nhlapo successfully negotiated his way through the early rounds, finishing second in the heats and third in the quarterfinals to secure his spot in the team for London.

In the semi-finals he crashed and injured his shoulder, but he brushed off the minor setback.

“I will be back on the bike in a week's time and then it is all about fine-tuning for the Olympics,” Nhlapo said.

“I am not going there to just be there, I am going to London to be competitive.”

Nhlapo, who crashed out of the final in BMX racing's Olympic debut at the 2008 Beijing Games, has had a tough road in his quest to qualify for London.

He broke his neck a few years ago and then had to deal with knee surgery in 2011 after injuring his ligaments.

Skizo started his qualifying run in Manchester in January, finishing third, and then he reached the quarterfinals in Oldsmar, Florida, in February.

The next month he went one better, progressing to the semi-finals in Desoto, Texas.

At the second stop of the UCI BMX Supercross season, in Norway, he once again got through to the quarterfinals, and two weeks later he was crowned African champion for the second time in succession. – Sapa


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