Trail championships participation to strengthen Portugal – South Africa sporting ties – ambassador.

The participation of top South African trail athletes in a championship event in the Azores will improve sporting ties with Portugal, according to Portugal’s ambassador to South Africa

Meg Mackenzie in action in winning the 2018 Whale of Trail. Mackenzie will set the Golden Ticket Segment on Table Mountain with a 30 km run tomorrow. Photo: Stephen Granger

The participation of two top South African trail athletes in the Golden Trail Championship on the Portugese Azores Islands at the end of the month will strengthen sporting ties between the two countries, according to the Portugese Ambassador to South Africa, HE Mr Manuel MCC Carvalho.

In the current context of interrupted international sport, the welcome green light given to the Golden Trail Championship – a four-day stage race on the Azores islands of Faial and Pico – which follows the success of the World Half Marathon Championship in Poland over the weekend, provides athletes a rare opportunity to compete internationally in 2020.

Portugese explorers, Bartholomew Dias and Vasco da Gama, were among the first from Europe to set foot in Southern Africa during their quest to forge a sea route to India over 600 years ago and their names are still linked to many place and street names in South Africa.

Meg Mackenzie and Robbie Rorich will reverse the ‘footsteps’ of those explorers but will shortcut the many months the explorers spent on the oceans with a fast air passage via Lisbon, strengthening the historically strong partnership between the marine nations as they do so.

Mackenzie has proved herself one of the world’s best mountain trail athletes in the past two years and earned her ticket to the Azores by placing in the top ten in the Golden Trail Series in 2019.  Rorich earned his trip through an excellent performance in the 27km “Golden Segment” on Table Mountain, which offered top performers trips to the Azores.

 “We are pleased to hear that Megan Mackenzie and Robert Rorich will be travelling to the majestic Azores Islands to compete against the best trail athletes in the world, including some of our top athletes from Portugal,” said Portuguese ambassador to South Africa, HE Mr Manuel Carvalho. 

“This will continue the strong relationship between our countries which dates back more than 600 years and is growing ever stronger.  Table Mountain is well known for its mountain trails and now Megan and Robert will be able to challenge themselves on our wonderful trails on the Azores Islands. 

“But as they run, they won’t overlook the awesome scenery, including the blue of the Atlantic, the flowers in the greenery of the landscape over the volcanic soil and all of this under the majestic Pico mountain, topping at 2281 m. I wish them a very good trip, all success in the race and that, on their return, they share in South Africa the experience they will have had. In short, I wish them BOA VIAGEM.”

Manuel Carvalho

Embaixador de Portugal em Pretória

Ambassador of Portugal in Pretoria