Elite Athlete Development Programme Media Release
Successful Dusi season for EADP
Durban – As the dust settles on the popular summer Dusi
canoeing, the Elite Athlete Development Programme (EADP) can
reflect on several excellent performances in the iconic FNB Dusi
Canoe Marathon and the one-day Non-Stop Dusi a fortnight later.
Leading the charge for the EADP was Sbonelo Khwela, whose quest
for the Dusi K1 title relied heavily on the intervention of the
medical team at Prime Human Performance Institute at Moses
The men’s race turned into an exciting showdown with Khwela
pushing former EADP star Andy Birkett all the way to the line
with the nine-time champion eventually beating Khwela by just
over two minutes.
The build-up to the 2019 race was far from ideal for Red
Bull/Euro Steel star Khwela, who had to fight a recurring
illness which hampered his summer training. The team at Prime
was crucial in helping him get over that hurdle.
“Dr Subban helped out so much when I was down with bilharzia,”
Khwela said. “It was important that I managed to get better
completely before I started training again so that meant that I
only began in December properly.
“I spent a lot of time at Prime with Jarryd (Rudolph) trying to
get myself in a good position, but I also feel that starting
later was better for me because I got to the race and wasn’t
burnt out at all.”
Khwela’s showdown with Birkett was the closest yet and despite
chasing one of the modern greats of the race he felt that his
pre-race focus was correct.
“This year I wanted to focus on my strengths and that has always
“I pushed myself harder on the runs this year during my training
and I thought that I ran really well which is encouraging!
“I will definitely be back at the 2021 K1 race!” he added.
Canoe marathon star Hank McGregor’s Dusi didn’t go according to
plan with the veteran running into trouble early on day one
which curtailed his charge for a second K1 title at the event.
McGregor came unstuck at the Taxi Rapid which broke the footrest
in his boat and he had to limp home on day one.
He then put in two remarkable days of paddling and ended up
finishing ninth overall, registering the second fastest time on
day two behind Birkett.
Banetse Nkhoesa was a paddler that was hoping for a strong Dusi
however illness hit during the race and he had to power through
as hard as he could.
It was a still a strong performance from Nkhoesa and he finished
In the ladies race Jenna Ward was in line for a podium finish
however she battled through the final day and lost and end
sprint to the young Amy Peckett to finish fourth in the race.
Following the Dusi was the Non-Stop just a few weeks later and
legend of the ‘Dusi in a Day’ Sbonelo Khwela won his eighth
title at the event.
Khwela got himself in front fairly early in the race and never
looked back despite the K2 combination of Banetse Nkhoesa and
Thabani Msiya breathing down his neck.
His second place finish at the Non-Stop Dusi proved that Nkhoesa
is a threat on the Msundusi and Mngeni Rivers despite his Dusi
The young talent will be a force at the K2 edition of the Dusi
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It has been a season
to remember for EADP star Sbonelo Khwela who finished it off
with his eight Non-Stop Dusi win following a brilliant second at
the 2019 FNB Dusi Canoe Marathon last month.
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