Doubles canoe champion Sbonelo Khwela said the postponement of the MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon would have a negative impact on his training, but he understood why the decision had to be taken given the rise in Covid-19 cases. File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Doubles canoe champion Sbonelo Khwela said the postponement of the MyLife Dusi Canoe Marathon would have a negative impact on his training, but he understood why the decision had to be taken given the rise in Covid-19 cases. File picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Dusi Marathon postponed due to spike in Covid-19 cases

By Thami Magubane Time of article published Jan 7, 2021

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The rise in Covid-19 cases has forced the organisers of this year’s Dusi Canoe Marathon to postpone the event to March.

The organisation said in a statement yesterday that following the spike in Covid-19 cases in Kwa-Zulu-Natal and around the country, organisers of the My Life Dusi Canoe Marathon and representatives from Canoeing South Africa (CSA) had decided to postpone the race by a month, to March 18-20.

The event had been scheduled to take place next month.

The announcement was met with mixed reaction from the athletes, with some saying that while the postponement was necessary, it was disruptive to their training schedules, while others felt that the postponement was a golden opportunity to get in more training.

Defending women’s K1 champion, Christie Mackenzie said the postponement would give her more time to prepare.

“We will be taking the time to get to the river as much as possible, and I will be working on my sprinting.

“I am up in Joburg, and I have people here who will be helping me with that,” she said.

Former men’s K2 winner Sbonelo Khwela said the announcement was hard for the organisers and for him, but it was understandable. He said the postponement would affect his training as he had prepared himself to compete in February.

“Looking at the state of the nation, you cannot fault anyone for the postponement,” he said.

Event organiser Shane le Breton said their main priority was the safety of the paddlers.

“Given the current situation, we felt that we had no option but to delay the race. It’s our responsibility to adhere to all the current government guidelines, and that means we will welcome paddlers to the start of the 2021 Dusi on March 18,” he said.

“It’s an extra month to prepare for all paddlers, but especially those who have been affected by Covid-19. This extra month of training will help in making up for the time lost during the current regulations where people aren’t allowed to paddle.”

Kim Pople, the president of Canoeing SA, said the organisation believed that the postponement was the best option.

“Getting the dates out there is best for everyone so they can work out their training as well as all the other issues that come with racing,” she said.

“From a medical point of view, at our big races we always have a medical issue whether it be broken limbs or ribs, which means hospital.

“There are no hospital beds in KwaZulu-Natal, and that is what we have to respect.”

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The Mercury

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