INTRODUCTION: Two men were seriously injured at the start of this year's Duzi canoe marathon in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on Wednesday (12 January).
SV Canoeists entering water in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
SV Minister of sport, Dr. Piet Koornhof of firing starting pistol and canoes begin racing.
SV Canoes entering rapids with two canoes capsizing.
SV Team colliding with rock and overturning.
SV AND CU Water level shot of canoe going aground on rock.
SV AND GV Canoeists carrying canoes around small waterfall.
SV Young girl on horse watching canoeists carrying their canoes overland. (2 shots)
Initials VS 15.45
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Two men were seriously injured at the start of this year's Duzi canoe marathon in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, on Wednesday (12 January).
SYNOPSIS: About 500 competitors from as far away as Australia began the gruelling 177 kilometre (110 miles) race but by the end of the first stage, about 90 of them had been eliminated. South Africa's Minister of Sport, Dr. Piet Koornhof started the race. Disaster struck soon after at the first weir.
Thirty-year-old Graham Wilson, in a double canoe with his brother Rob, broadsided into the victoria bridge rapid and was rammed from behind by Allan Armitage. Graham received a deep gash in his back and it's though Allan broke a leg. Both later underwent emergency surgery in hospital.
But other canoeists fared better. After a close battle Andrew Hawrden finished second in the singles even at the first overnight stop. Last year's doubles winners, Peter Peacock and Graham Pope-Ellis, also won the first leg in their class.
The race finished in Durban on Friday (14 January) and spectators were treated to some exciting canoeing during the event.