Pietermaritzburg, South Africa – It was a historic day for the Ethiopian cycling team as Tsgabu Grmay became the first rider from the East African Nation to win an elite gold medal at the continental road championships here today.
The host nation was equally elated to see Ashleigh Moolman Pasio who added a continental champs title to her impressive list of achievements in recent times
Although the strong South African team was favored to win the men’s Individual Time Trial, it was Ethiopian rider Tsgabu Grmay who was the fastest over the two laps to claim the continental crown.
“I am so happy to be the first person from Ethiopia to win an elite gold!” an elated Grmay proclaimed. “It was a great race for me today and everything went perfectly and my preparation coming into the race had been good so I was confident that I could do well.”
He was not going to be over-awed by the competition that he was going to come up against and with some cooler conditions out on the course Gwray thought that those played into his hands a bit and gave him the edge that he wanted.
“I came into the race knowing that I had a chance of winning it if I rode well and everything went smoothly.
“It all went to plan and it is great for the whole team who have come out here as well as the federation who have been working really hard for us riders recently and trying to grow the sport back home and so I am happy to give back with this win,” he said with a smile.
The Under-23 Men also took to the Time Trial course on Wednesday in pursuit of that individual gold medal and when the racing was done it was Eritrean and MTB-Qhubeka star Merhawi Kudus who claimed the spoils as he added this title to the Team Time Trial gold that he won with his national team on the first day of the competition.
The silver and bronze medals in the Under 23 Men’s Individual Time Trial went to Valens Ndayisenga from Rwanda and Adil Barbari from Algeria respectively.
1. Tsgabu Grmay (ETH) 01:03.05.663
2. Daniel Teklehaimanot (ERI) 01:03.22.120
3. Reinhardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA) 01:03.42.676
4. Louis Meintjes (RSA) 01:04.22.099
5. Rafaa Chtioui (TUN) 01:07.03.062
6. Mouhssine Lahsaini (MAR) 01:07.25.406
7. Azzedine Lagab (ALG) 01:08.03.498
8. Adrien Niyonshuti (RWA) 01:09.04.393
9. Salah Mraouni (MAR) 01:10.31.768
10. Richard Laizer (TAN) 01:11.16.102
1. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (RSA) 38.19.925
2. Heidi Dalton (RSA) 40.55.715
3. Aurelie Halbwachs (MRI) 41.04.254
4. Yohana Dawit (ERI) 41.07.942
5. Vera Adrian (NAM) 41.13.080
UNDER 23 MEN
1. Merhawi Kudus (ERI) 01:05.08.262
2. Valens Ndayisenga (RWA) 01:07.09.981
3. Adil Barbari (ALG) 01:10.02.227
4. Temesgen Buru (ETH) 01:10.18.512
5. Bernaado Erastus (BOT) 01:10.27.200