I knew I wasn’t going to be fresh coming into the race after already racing 3 big events within the last 2 months, the last two of them being over the time zones, one in San Diego and the other in Yokohama. I also didn’t get the opportunity to rest as well as I wanted to for this event.
With good form right out of Yokohama I was confident for a good result. My plan was to see how the race unfolds and play it safe, because I didn’t want to blow up towards the end. It all worked out very well.
I had probably my easiest swim in a triathlon yet, I tried a couple of times to stretch the field to shake off some athletes, and ended up with a group of 4 which included fellow South Africans Wian Sullwald and Wikus Weber, and David from Great Britain. We worked well together on a course that was a little harder than it seemed.
We were clear from any chasers which meant the podium would be decided between the 4 of us. I felt good on the run. The pace in the first 5km wasn’t fast at all, so I tried surging a couple of times to maybe get a gap and hopefully hurt the legs of Wian and Wikus. They were running really well and sticking to my pace. Wian took out the next 5km very fast. Wikus soon fell off and I was just trying to hang on. With about 2km to go Wian tired up and slowed down, I tried to keep the pace up by surging a couple of times but it wasn’t enough and the title came down to a sprint. The last Km I kept the pace up and with about 300m to go I went for it. Wian hung on but soon fell off and I took the Elite African Championship Title for the first time. It was truly one of my most special moments when I crossed the line.
Well done to Wian and Wikus for some really good racing in 2nd and 3rd.
It has been a really great year so far. My performance compared to last year is worlds apart. I have massively improved on the ITU rankings where I am now 45th and 20th on the World Triathlon Series Rankings. To put it into perspective, I received my first ITU points ever only last year in Feb!
All of it comes easier with great support from my family, friends and girlfriend. My parents have funded all my trips so far and I am so thankful for that. All prize money goes straight back to them allowing me to compete in more international races. The companies that believe in me including FINIS, Huub Design, Cytomax, Puma and Classic eyes. Thank you all for your great support!