Reigning Dusi champ withdraws

2011-12-09 18:26

Johannesburg - Four-times Dusi champion Ant Stott confirmed on Friday he would not compete in next year's canoe marathon due to injury.

Stott, who was runner-up to Andy Birkett in the thrilling final-straight sprint finish this year, hurt his Achilles during the SA Marathon Championships and raced through to the World Marathon Championships with a painful tendon injury that got progressively worse.

This week a frustrated Stott was forced to abandon all hope of contesting the 2012 K2 title, and confirmed with his intended partner Hank McGregor that he would not be able to partner him in the boat.

"I've had to kiss the Dusi goodbye for 2012 as there is honestly no prospect of recovering in time to be competitive at all," Stott said.

"It is unbelievably frustrating for me. The Achilles is not something you can rest because you use it in just about every movement every day.

"We have tried everything but it is just not responding. It might get to the stage where I have to look at a moonboot or aircast and crutches to give it a chance to heal."

Stott said shelving his plans for the Dusi was difficult as the pre-race excitement and running and paddling training was something he looked forward to each summer.

"I have not paddled for three weeks and the Achilles has still not improved, which is doubly frustrating," said Stott.

"Paddling is what I do. I love it, and to have to stop paddling really gets to you after a while."

Stott first won the Dusi in 1998 with Kelby Murray and went on to add further titles with Martin Dreyer in 2004 and K1 wins in 2007 and 2009.

The Dusi will take place from Camps Drift in Pietermaritzburg to Blue Lagoon in Durban in February.