Pietermaritzburg - A harrowing stabbing attack has left canoeing rising
star Banetse Nkhoesa in a race against time to salvage his 2016 Dusi title
bid with Euro Steel team-mate Sbonelo Khwela.
Nkhoesa was the victim of a knifing attack at his Shongweni valley home that
left him with serious injuries to his scapula and surrounding muscles, leaving
him in severe pain and putting his much-talked-about Dusi title challenge
While refusing to dwell on the apparently random attack, Nkhoesa is digging
deep to find the mental strength to stay focused on his dream of winning the Dusi doubles title with his idol Khwela.
"It was the best day of my life as I had managed to beat Eric (Sbonelo
Khwela) for the first time in a club time trial," said Nkhoesa.
A few hours later he was bandaged with drains emerging from his injured
shoulder following the late night attack.
"It is not a great situation," said Nkhoesa.
"To lose 15
days at this stage in our Dusi training is not great. All I want to do is hurry
up the recovery so that we can get back to training. Right now I can't do
Nkhoesa is a member of the Elite Athlete Development programme run by the KZN
Department of Sport and Recreation at the Prime HPI facility at Moses Mabhida
stadium, where the team of doctors and medical experts has swung into action to
help the injured youngster.
"They have been brilliant!" said Nkhoesa.
"I have a good feeling
about my recovery after hearing what Doctor Marshall had to say."
He added that his paddling partner Khwela (Euro Steel/Red Bull) had also been
extremely understanding and supportive.
"He has been really good about this set-back, and has been right by my
side. I feel I owe it to him to recover as quickly as I can to repay the faith
he has showed in deciding to do the Dusi with me."
"I won't give up," he added.
"We have worked so hard, and I have
managed to get my performance to such a high level. I really feel that we can
win this Dusi. It's my time now."
Nkhoesa burst onto the scene from the ranks of the Computershare Change a Life
Academy of which his partner Khwela was also a founding member, and stunned the
paddling community when Khwela opted to commit to the 2016 Dusi with his
Shongweni valley neighbour ahead of a title defence with Andy Birkett, with
whom he won the last Dusi K2 title.
Khwela and Nkhoesa have been the early Dusi season pace setters, winning
numerous races, including key Dusi seeding races like the Umpetha Challenge.
The Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg to Blue
Lagoon, Durban from February 18-20, 2016.
More information can be found at www.dusi.co.za