Namibia hopeful for final Olympic cycling spot

22 Feb 2016 20:30pm
WINDHOEK, 22 FEB (NAMPA) - Namibia’s top two female cyclists, Vera Adrian and Michelle Vorster, are in Morocco to participate in the Continental African Championships (CAC) in Casablanca.
The team left for Morocco on Sunday with Hans du Toit, the national coach and team manager Rolf Adrian.
The championships are being used as qualifiers for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.
South Africa is currently the only country that has qualified for the Olympics in this code, and the first country besides South Africa that will cross the finish line in Morocco in the road race will obtain a ticket to Rio.
A statement availed to Nampa on Monday by the Namibian Cycling Federation (NCF) said that participating in the CAC in Morocco would give Namibia a slim chance to obtain the only remaining spot for a female cyclist at the Olympics.
“Our two top female riders (Vorster and Adrian) have consistently performed well, and have managed to bring back medals from the last three consecutive continental championships,” it said.
The medals include bronze in the individual time trial from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 2012; bronze in individual time trial and silver in road race from Sharm el Shaikh, Egypt in 2013; and a silver medal in team time trial from Wartburg, South Africa in 2015.
“Also at the African Games in Brazzaville, Congo, in September last year, the ladies showed great potential and good results, missing a podium position with just seconds,” read the statement.
Namibian professional cyclist, Dan Craven won the Pupkewitz National Road Race Championships that was held in the capital at the beginning of February, and was selected to represent the country at the Olympics.
The events in Morocco are scheduled as follows: the individual time trial for elite women over 31 kilometres (km) on 23 February at 12h00 (Namibian time), and two days later the elite women’s road race over 120km will take place at 11h30 Namibian time.
The NCF is confident that both Adrian and Vorster are well prepared.