An Olympic hopeful has to set his dreams aside for a bit after a park incident
South African cyclist Nicholas Dlamini broke his left arm while being detained at Cape Town's Table Mountain National Park. The rangers who arrested him were allegedly aggressive and heavy-handed.
Dlamini left with broken arm after park incident
A witness captured a cellphone video of Friday's incident which went viral on social media. In the video, Dlamini was seen being pushed by a park ranger up against a service vehicle. The ranger would then twist his arm behind his back and shoved him into the truck as the other three rangers watched.
The South African National Parks service said Dlamini was riding in the park without a permit or paying an entry fee and that he resisted arrest. The rangers then said that they just knocked Dlamini off his bike to check for a permit or ticket.
“Nick was quite upset. He was hurt and his bike was damaged,” one ranger said.
South Africa's minister of environment ordered the rangers involved to be suspended and the parks service to hold an investigation.
"There must be consequences," Western Cape province premier Alan Winde said. “No matter what the circumstances, there is no excuse for this kind of reaction,” he added.
Dlamini's Olympic hopes take step back
Dlamini is one of South Africa's most promising cyclists. The 24-year-old was hoping to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was why he was trained in the park.
The NTT Pro Cycling team member competed at the Tour de France and is teammates with former world champion Mark Cavendish.
Dlamini made his Grand Tour debut at the Spanish Vuelta this year. He won mountain classification titles at the lower-level Tour Down Under in Australia and Tour of Britain in 2018.
It was "a major setback" according to his team. It was unfortunate that it had to happen before a hugely promising 2020 season.
How does the injury affect Nicholas Dlamini's Olympic hopes? Will he be able to make it back in time? Tell us your thoughts.