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Ross wins again

Date Released: Tue, 30 October 2012 13:12 +0200

Not long after winning the Rhodes University Sportswoman of the Year title, Natalie Ross was the first South African to cross the finish line at the recent 2012 International Triathlon Union (ITU) Age-Group World Championships. She was one of three athletes from Rhodes who tested their limits against more than 3 000 competitors at Queens Wharf in Auckland, New Zealand, last Monday. Ross finished 39th overall in the 20-24 age group category in a time of 2 hours, 37 minutes and 31 seconds. She swam the 1.5km swim in 31:34, cycled 40km in 1:17:08 and ran the last leg of the race, a 10km run, in 41.39. 

Leah Sloman, also competing in the 20-24 category, was the second South African to finish the race in 2:43:33 (29:46 swim, 1:22:06 cycle and 44:23 run). She was 43rd in her category.

The third Rhodian to brave the international competition was Darryn van Huyssteen who finished 35th in the men's 20-24 race. His time was 2:19:26 (22:28 swim, 1:07:38 cycle and 43:02 run). The three local athletes were selected to represent Triathlon South Africa after taking part in the SA triathlon championships in Port Elizabeth earlier this year.

 Overall winner of the women's 20-24 category was Reubyn Bisschops of New Zealand in 2:15:28. Taking the men's title in the same group was another New Zealander, Kieran McPherson, in 2:02:56. The world's strongest nations sent huge teams to contest these world championships. Hundreds of athletes travelled from around New Zealand, the USA, Australia and Great Britain to compete. Dozens of athletes from Mexico, Ireland, Brazil and South Africa also entered.

According to a press statement from the event, Aucklanders turned out in force to support the age-group and paratriathletes. While rooting strongly for their own New Zealand athletes they were equally generous in supporting other athletes from around the globe. This year's triathlete champs offered categories ranging from 18-84 years.

Overall in the competition, Australia just pipped the hosts New Zealand to finish first in the overall age-group medal tally. Australia finished with 28 medals (12 gold), to New Zealand's tally of 25 medals with 10 gold. Great Britain finished in third place with 16 medals and the United States was fourth with 14.

Written by: Stephen Penny

  • This article was published on Grocott’s  Mail.