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Van Dyk targets No9

South African wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk is confident he’ll be in with a shout for his ninth victory in the 114th Boston Marathon in the United States on Monday.

Van Dyk, the world record holder over the distance, has had to shift much of his focus towards his private life in recent years, but his knowledge of the course and conditions will still give the 37-year-old Paarl athlete a chance of stepping on the podium for the 10th year in succession at the world’s oldest race over the 42.195km classic distance, reports Sapa.

ÔÇ£Training has gone okay but it has not been perfect,ÔÇØ Van Dyk said. ÔÇ£Since the birth of our daughter in October 2008 life has been a bit hectic.

ÔÇ£But things have gotten better over the last two months and I find myself in shape to be competitive. With my experience on this course anything can happen.ÔÇØ

The six-time Paralympic medallist, in events ranging from 400m on the track to handcycling on the road, has found the perfect recipe in preparing for major events, and his years of experience will stand him in good stead.

ÔÇ£As I’ve matured as an athlete I’ve been able to find the very fine balance between over training and under training,ÔÇØ Van Dyk said.

ÔÇ£When I was younger I so often over trained and it cost me dearly.ÔÇØ

And while he has his sights set firmly on another victory, Van Dyk is as concerned about enjoying the race as he is about winning it ÔÇ£I’ve now won this race eight times, with nine podium finishes in the last nine years, and I’m content with what I have achieved here,ÔÇØ he said.

ÔÇ£Now I can soak up the experience of racing in the oldest marathon around and just enjoying it.ÔÇØ