Perhaps the unluckiest of all Kiwi sporting heroes, New Zealand's Courtney Duncan has just been ruled out for the rest of the 2018 Womens Motocross World Championship season due to the flare-up of an injury in her right foot..
The 22-year-old from Palmerston, near Dunedin, had been perhaps just four races away from winning the Women‰Ûªs Motocross World Championships (WMX) title this season ‰ÛÒ with just two races at each of the two remaining rounds, in The Netherlands this coming weekend and in Italy on September 30, left to wrap up her 2018 campaign ‰ÛÒ but injury has now dashed her hopes.
Duncan had taken her Altherm JCR Yamaha YZ250F bike to twice finish runner-up at the fourth round of six in the world series at Ottobiano, in the Lombardia region of Italy, in June, helping her to build a massive 21-point lead over her two main rivals, fellow Yamaha riders Kiara Fontanesi and Nancy van de Ven.
The 22-year-old Kiwi, who will possibly never enjoy the advantage of racing a WMX event on her home turf, had defied the odds to be in that enviable position, but an injury to a bone in her right foot and then further damage to the ligaments that surround it, have this week forced her to withdraw from this year's title chase.
This will be the third consecutive season that Duncan had been cruelly denied.
‰ÛÏI don't think there's a word to describe how I'm feeling right now. It breaks my heart to know I won't be able to line up and go for the world title. I have to think of the bigger picture. I am only young and I've got championships to deliver in the future. I want to thank my sponsors and supporters and those who have stuck by me for the past couple of years,‰Û