Wesley Botton
Chief sports writer
1 minute read
16 Oct 2013
6:00 am

Ernst chases podium place

Wesley Botton

Wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk, above, is aiming for another podium finish in New York next week as he aims to close out perhaps the most consistent season of his lengthy road racing career.

Van Dyk was in fine form on Sunday, bagging a maiden victory at the Chicago Marathon when he edged Australian Kurt Fearnley by one second in a sprint finish, crossing the line in 1:30:37.

Two other athletes who finished in the top eight – Heinz Frei of Switzerland and South African-born Krige Schabort, now competing for the United States are over the age of 50, and Van Dyk, 40, is still at the top of his game in an endurance sport that relies on strength, tactics and experience.

“I wouldn’t say I’m a veteran just yet, but I’m not the youngest either,” said the six-time Paralympic medallist and nine-time winner of the Boston Marathon. “It feels really good, as what is turning out to be fantastic season came together.

“It was a tough race and exciting to the line.” He is hoping to complete a prosperous 2013 campaign in fine style next week by finishing among the top three in another major city marathon the fourth time this season.

Having taken second place in Boston, third in London and first in Chicago this year, he hopes to step on the podium again in the Big Apple.

“Next up for me is New York where I’ll be going for a top three finish again,” said the former world record holder. “I’ve never done all four of those races in the same year.”