Toti’s canoeist fights for the Olympics

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Budding canoeist Lungelo Shange, 17, is currently training for upcoming events where he hopes to qualify and be selected for the Olympic Hopes Regatta in Slovakia in June.

Lungelo from Umgababa is a member of Siyaphambili SurfSki Club which is a development team of Amanzimtoti Water Sports Club (Toti Canoe Club).

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He got into canoeing in 2015 and has since competed across the country and once overseas in Europe, in the Czech Republic. So far he has accumulated 35 medals, which testifies to his dedication.

He is currently training for the KZN sprints which will take place in Pietermaritzburg at Nagle Dam, the SA sprints and the SA Surf ski champions both take place in Cape Town.

“Training was tough after finishing the Dusi Canoe Marathon, which was also my first. After Dean Chiazzari passed away things got turned upside down and we were in trouble, but luckily his brother, Brent Chiazzari, took over as coach. Brent has been a great coach helping us a lot to get in shape,” Lungelo said.

His biggest goal for this year is to be selected for the Olympic hopefuls regatta in Slovakia. “Things have been difficult for me because I have no transport and I go to school.

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It takes me 30 minutes from home to school, an hour from home to the gym and then training starts at 5:00 p.m. It’s a lot, but all I can do is give my best and hope I can qualify for Slovakia because I have a lot of chances available,” Lungelo said.

For more information on upcoming events contact the Siyaphambili SurfSki Club on 067 200 5944 or the Toti Canoe Club on 082 458 2736.

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