Tanya settles for bronze

Top Zimbabwean female dirt bike rider Tanya Muzinda yesterday left huge footprints at the 2017 HL Racing British Master Kids Motocross Championships where she finished third overall in the 85cc B Class.

Coming up against a strong field of 36 top junior male and female riders from England and other European countries in the 85cc B Class (small wheel), 12-year-old Muzinda carried the Zimbabwean flag high at this three-day event where she earned herself a place on the podium at the end of business yesterday.

Muzinda ended up being the darling of both the multitude of British motocross fans and the Press, which came to watch this big youth championship event, with some brilliant performances at the tough Motoland Mildenhall track.

Before settling for the overall third place finish on the final day of this event, Muzinda first made history by becoming the first female racer to win a heat at the British Master Kids Championships since its inauguration in 2013 when she won Heat Three on Day Two on Sunday.

And after her history-making performance on Sunday afternoon, Muzinda posted another impressive display yesterday, finishing second behind Briton Aidan Monk in the final race of this big event.

This was good enough to earn her an overall third place finish and a place on the podium in the 85cc B Class to walk away with a bronze medal.

Muzinda amassed a total of 236 points during the tough six rounds of action on Saturday, Sunday and yesterday.

The first two places in the 85cc B Class went to British boys Monks and Charlie Nudds who collected 256 and 246 points respectively.

But they will both be the first to admit that they were given a good run for their money by the ‘Iron Lady’ of Zimbabwean motocross Muzinda who was competing in the British MX Master Kids UK Championships for the first time in her career.

There was just no stopping Muzinda in the 85cc B Class which had a big field of 36 riders, making a huge impact over the three days of racing by producing some jaw-dropping performances.

And Muzinda attributed all this to some hard work under her father and trainer Tawanda ‘Polycup’ Muzinda.

“When I came here it was like navigating some unknown terrain and I didn’t know what to expect as I was taking on some of the top, top junior male and female British riders.

“But I just told myself before the opening day of this event on Saturday that I had nothing to lose but everything to gain and I just gave it my best shot. The track was perfect and the (racing conditions) were just good.

“And I would like to thank my sponsors back home in Zimbabwe – CBZ Holdings and NetOne – who made it possible for me to take part in this big European event.

“I would also like to thank my parents and the Zimbabwean Press for all the support they have been giving me all along,”

Muzinda said at a Press briefing yesterday.

At this year’s British Master Kids UK Championships, Muzinda was joined by fellow England-born Zimbabwean Tyler Mabika who competed in the 65cc B Class and he came eighth overall in this section.

Nine-year-old Mabika has been riding since he was five after he was introduced to the tough sport of motocross by his father, Artwell, who has a passion for motorcycling events.

It was Artwell Mabika who also facilitated for Tanya Muzinda’s participation at this year’s British Master Kids UK Championships and he said the young Zimbabwean rider has got a bright future ahead of her after watching her during the three-day event.

“What can I say? I didn’t know that my country Zimbabwe has such a talented female rider like Tanya and if she gets enough support from everybody back home (in Zimbabwe), I think we have a World Champion in the making.

“Most people here were just left speechless by the way she handled her machine and they were quite surprised when they heard that she was from an African country called Zimbabwe.

“They all now want her back for this big event next year and I hope to get her over here again for it,” Artwell Mabika said. The Herald