The New Straits Times Online
photo: Thia Van Niekerk (left) and her brother Cornelius (right) will ride for the South African team while their father Sakkie Niekerk is the team manager. (The New Straits Times Online)
SIBLINGS Cornelius Van Niekerk and Thia hope to lead South Africa to a better outing in the 12th FEI World Endurance Championships at the Terengganu International Endurance Park (TIEP) in Lembah Bidong, starting Thursday.
Their father, Sakkie Niekerk is also the team manager of the South African team.
Cornelius will be riding Ridasa Dr Gbm while Thia will be astride Izra Tendulkar.
The other South African riders are Gillese De Villiers (Traka Crypton), Carmen Du Preez (Nag Sharon Bez), Naomi Muller (Naomi Khyber) and Jenene Pretorius (Ruby).
Sakkie said his charges stand a better chance in the team event.
"We hope to do better than the ninth placing achieved in the 2006 edition in Aachen, Germany," he said at TIEP, Setiu yesterday.
Meanwhile, Cornelius, who is also captain, said it is going to be a difficult race for the team due to the adverse weather conditions in Terengganu.
"This is the first time we are racing in this part of the world. It's hot here compared to Europe. We really hope it will be raining on race day," said Cornelius.
"We have been training hard for the race for quite sometime. We are aiming big and all of us are in confident mood."
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