2016 FNB Dusi Canoe
Kožíšková's leaves European winter for sunny South Africa ahead of 2016 FNB
Pietermaritzburg – As the 2016 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon draws ever closer,
ladies favourites Abby Solms and Anna Kožíšková's are looking forward to
reuniting again ahead of the 18-20 February spectacle after having spent
much of the recent months training individually, halfway across the globe
from each other.
As was the case ahead of their 2014 FNB Dusi challenge, the pair have been
preparing on separate continents with Adie based at Natal Canoe Club in
Pietermaritzburg and Kožíšková with her husband in Hungary.
Kožíšková’s bid to be in top shape when she arrives in South Africa on
Tuesday, 26 January was made even tougher with her having to deal the harsh
Eastern European winter conditions.
“I cannot wait to get to South Africa for one of the best races that I have
ever done!” current K1 Marathon World Champ Kožíšková mentioned excitedly.
“I have just finished my final cross-country skiing training camp, my last
race was over the weekend and then I will be flying to South Africa on
“I finished second in my last race two weeks ago, which I was really happy
with and it showed that I am in good shape at the moment.”
With one outing at the FNB Dusi under her belt already, Kožíšková feels that
she will be better equipped to deal with the Dusi’s tough conditions this
time around than she was in 2014.
“At the moment it is 12 degrees below zero so it is going to be interesting
when I get into the heat of the Dusi Valley!
“The big advantage for me is that I know the river now; I know the rapids
and the portages which is important going into such a big race like the
Dusi,” she stressed.
2014 was a race that did not quite go the way of Kožíšková and Solms as the
pair finished a narrow second behind Robyn Kime and Abbey Ulansky.
The Czech star would however have gained invaluable experience from such a
tough three days in the Valley of a Thousand Hills.
“2014 was a tough race for us as I cut my knee open on day one and had to
get ten stitches as well as breaking my paddle on the Island portage on day
“We still came second though, which was great for us.
“I am really looking forward to this special race in such an incredible part
of the world!” an excited Kožíšková mentioned.
Despite having gained years of experience on the uMsundusi and uMngeni
Rivers, Kožíšková ‘s partner Solms had hoped to have spent more time on the
river ahead of this year’s FNB Dusi than the crippling drought has allowed.
"When Anna arrives we will have to do some river prep, if we are able to,"
"I realised during the StaminoGro 50-Miler that I do need to brush up on
quite a few lines.”
Solms’ FNB Dusi rustiness has also have been compounded somewhat by her
decision to opt out of a competitive K1 effort in 2015 in favour of a social
effort with her father, Patrick Adie.
"With not racing last year I didn't do the river prep that I did in the
“Things always change on the river, like hyacinth, too.
“I would really like for Anna and I to be able to do some river sessions
together before Dusi!"
While eager to return to the waters upon which she and Kožíšková will
compete on in just a few weeks’ time, Solms will draw confidence from the
peak physical condition she is in after much hard work both on the water,
the trails and in the gym in recent months.
Solms’ river skills also received a welcome sharpening this past weekend
during her resounding victory at the N3TC Drak Challenge in the Southern
Drakensberg, prompting many to label the pair as undoubted favourites to
lead the charge for the 2016 FNB Dusi women’s title.
"It is my best opportunity to win the Dusi yet!” said the six-time FNB Dusi
“It is unfortunate that Abbey Ulansky and Robyn Kime – our main competition
two years ago – won’t be entering but I am going to be as fit and prepared
as I ever have been, as if Abbey and Robyn were there on the start line.
“There are other strong women's crews like [two-time Under-23 Marathon World
Championships bronze medallist] Jenna Ward and [Hungary’s two-time Under-23
Marathon World Championships winner] Vanda Kizsli.
" You can't be too blasé. Anything can happen, so you need to be as ready as
possible come race day.
“On the start line, I am going to be as prepared as I can be!"
The FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon takes place from Camps Drift, Pietermaritzburg
to Blue Lagoon, Durban from 18-20 February 2016. More
information can be found at www.dusi.co.za
Click to download the hi-res
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon logo (Landscape) - GIF
FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon logo
(Portrait) - GIF
Despite only flying to South
Africa at the end of January, Anna Kožíšková has used the European winter to
keep her base training up with an eye on the FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon title
with partner Abby Solms.
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