Charlene du Preez, who has been on a mission to garner enough points to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, edged closer to her goal when she claimed four golds at the recent African Track Championships.
The South African track star won the keirin, sprint, time-trial and team sprint at the champs in Cairo, Egypt, earlier this month.
“Getting these UCI points is what we need; it means a lot. Hopefully it is enough,” said Du Preez.
She said the plan was to win all she could at the African champs and she was pleased that everything worked out well and all her expectations were met.
“I’m very happy and feel that I went to get a job done and I came home with all tasks accomplished.
“It adds a lot of points to the Olympic qualification ranking and it’s a great honour to be the African continental champion in all four sprint events.”
Du Preez, 32, said it was quite an experience to be in Egypt along with the rest of the national team.
“The atmosphere was good. We had cold and windy days, but overall the experience was one to remember.
“I was there to race my heart out and really enjoyed all the events. My personal favourite was the individual sprint.”
The Clover rider’s focus now turns to the Track World Championships, which take place from February 26 to March 1.
“Then my goal is the Olympics – if I get selected.
“The focus after world champs will be to prepare for the Games if I’m going. I have actually quit my job now in order to fully focus on training and proper recovery.”
She said funding wasn’t really provided for racing around the world. As a result she had to use her own budget to live while focusing on training.
Du Preez is still hoping for some extra funding to hopefully enable her to do a proper training camp, which she has never done before.
“It will be very good for training. It is really hard when you train alone.
“Thank you for everyone’s support so far and to Clover who have been by my side this whole journey.”