NINE-year-old former BMX World junior champion Rebekah Oberholzer headlines a 10-member Zimbabwe team that will represent the country at the UCI BMX World Championships in Rockhill, South Carolina, USA later this month.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Oberholzer won the girls 5-7 years category world title in Rotterdam, Netherlands three years ago.
The only girl in the Zimbabwe team for the second year running, Oberholzer will compete in the girls under-10 class in the global competition slated for July 24 to 29.
“I don’t mind being the only girl in the team because I am now used to it. I have a lot of friends at the world championships from all over the world that I am looking forward to seeing,” the Chisipite Junior School student told Sports World.
“I am very excited and proud to represent Zimbabwe and also to be travelling to the USA for the Worlds. This is the one I never wanted to miss.”
After failing to replicate her 2014 Rotterdam performance in the past two years, the young rider is just targeting reaching the finals this time around.
“My goal is to try and make it to the final in my category and win a world plate. I will be pleased if I can achieve that,” she said.
Zimbabwe BMX announced a bigger squad this year compared to just three at the previous edition, namely Oberholzer and her brother Ben Oberholzer as well as Penias Tenthani who travelled to Medellín, Colombia last year.
Tenthani is also part of the current team and will compete in the Elite Men category in a field that includes Olympic gold medallist Connor Fields from the USA.
Oberholzer’s sibling Ben, a genuine medal hopeful who reached the quarterfinals in Colombia, has entered the boys’ under-10 category and will be buoyed by medal winning performances in South Africa recently.
US-based Andrew Chamunorwa will be riding in the 17-24 age-group while Campbell Wright will be competing in the under-15 boys category. The two last competed in the 2015 World Championships in Zolder, Belgium.
Competing in the younger age group categories will be newcomers Tariq Shelton (7 Boys), Emmanuel Gore (8 boys) and Callum Brooker (8 boys).
The three boys underlined their pedigree after achieving podium finishes at the recent NAG Championships in South Africa in April.
Completing the team are experienced riders Tawanda Marowa and Andrew Mwanjira, who will be riding in the Cruiser Class race at the competition.
The team has stepped up preparations and the riders will get a chance to be tested at the Zimbabwe National Championships in Harare on July 15, before departing the following week for the USA.
P Tenthani (Elite), A Mwanjira (Cruiser),
T Marowa (Cruiser), A Chamunorwa (17-24),
C Wright (15 boys), B Oberholzer (12 Boys),
R Oberholzer (10 girls), C Brooker (8 boys), E Gore (8 boys), T Shelton (7 boys)