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De Lange replaces Craven in road cycling at Olympics

Summary

African Cross-Country champion, Tristan de Lange will be representing Namibia in the men’s road race event at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday.The games start on Friday, 23 July 2021.De Lange will replace 2019 National Road Race cha…

African Cross-Country champion, Tristan de Lange will be representing Namibia in the men’s road race event at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday.

The games start on Friday, 23 July 2021.

De Lange will replace 2019 National Road Race champion Dan Craven, who tested positive for COVID-19 in Spain where he is currently based.

The 24-year-old De Lange finished second during the national road race championships on two occasions (2020 and 2021). He was 17th at the African Games in road race in 2019 and 36th at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

In an interview with Nampa on Sunday, Namibia Cycling Federation president Axel Theissen said the federation is proud to effect the change in the Olympics road cycling team at such short notice.

“The changes were obviously necessitated by medical reasons (COVID-19 infection). Dan Craven is very sad to miss the opportunity to represent Namibia for the third time at the Olympics,” he said.

Theissen said De Lange is a very suitable and capable replacement for Craven, because he continued with his training and is in top form at the moment.

Meanwhile De Lange told Nampa on Sunday he is excited to represent the country, but that it will be a big challenge filling the big shoes of Craven.

“I am confident for the challenge ahead, it’s always an honour to represent Namibia and from here onward it will be full steam ahead,” he said.

Also speaking to Nampa on Sunday, Craven said he has been preparing for the games for the past four years with the support of the Namibia National Olympic Committee and NCF and it is infuriating to lose a spot just a day before he was supposed to travel to Japan.

“I am happy that the NCF and NNOC managed to replace me with Tristan de Lange, who is equally a good rider. I am super proud of him. I am now looking forward to future events and hopefully representing the country at the Commonwealth Games in 2022,” Craven said.

Namibian cyclists will start with their competition on Saturday when De Lange will compete in the men’s road race, while Vera Looser will compete in the women’s road race on Sunday, 25 July 2021.

The Cross-Country team will start with their competition on 26 July with Michelle Vorster in the women’s category, while Alex Miller in the men’s category will compete on 27 July.

Source: Namibia Press Agency