Australian G4 Representative
NEWS ON RADIO
on this page,
27th April, 2006
Australian competitor Tom Landon-Smith (36) has been forced to withdraw from the 2006 Land Rover G4 Challenge less than 48 hours before the start of the event. He is replaced on the Challenge by his wife Alina McMaster, who was one of the reserve competitors for Australia - the other reserve, John Jacoby recently fractured his wrist during an adventure race, and is still unable to compete.
Landon-Smith cut his right foot while running on a beach during a recent holiday in New South Wales. The injury required stitches, but doctors in Australia assured the plucky Event Manager that he would be fit by the time the event starts in Bangkok, Thailand, on 23rd April.
Unfortunately for the Australian, his injury didn't heal as quickly as expected, and after a fitness assessment by Challenge Medical Director Mike Irani, the decision was made for Landon-Smith to withdraw. "He is obviously bitterly disappointed," explained the surgeon, "but the decision is not only for his own health and safety, but also that of his fellow competitors."
"I cannot believe that I have come so close to the Challenge, yet I am unable to compete," says Landon-Smith, "the disappointment is massive, but I wish my wife all the best and I truly believe that she has what it takes to win this year's Challenge."
McMaster started her career as a cross-country skier, winning numerous sport scholarships. She competed in the Australian cross-country ski team for many years before making the Olympic Squad in 1994. She then moved into multi-sport where she has won every major race in Australia. Her adventure-racing career has been extensive and successful. McMaster is the captain of Team AROC, Australia's top adventure racing team and one of the world's best.
As a result of her husband's misfortune, McMaster was one of 18 competitors on the starting line of the Challenge. She stands a chance of winning a brand new Range Rover as a prize, as well as becoming only the second winner of the ultimate global adventure. However, between her and victory lies two continents, four countries, a month of tough competition - and 17 other people who have exactly the same thirst for victory.
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