JP Burger and Cindy Schwulst came to this year’s MANDELA TRI as defending champions and once again, walked away with the title spoils in 2 equally dominating performances at Midmar Dam yesterday

High winds and cold water greeted the athletes as they got off to a cracking start over the slightly shortened 1500m swim. Burger, along with Rudolf Naude, Matthew Greer Keegan Cooke and Clinton Gravett formed the lead group as they made their way around the 2 loop swim course.

The group of 5 set off onto the hilly 4 loop bike course with Burger putting in a charge, early into the race that saw him breakaway from Naude, Cooke and Greer. Around a minute behind them was Darren Marquiss and Junior, Asher Biggs.

Burger was riding strong but the threesome behind him were keeping the gap to around 45 seconds as they headed back into the dam to start the tough 10km run course. Burger ran the days fastest run in just over 33 minutes to take the fantastic win in 1:46. Greer and Naude were tussling for the final podium places with Greer taking it in 1:49 and Naude finishing just 16 seconds later to cap off a great days racing by some of SA’s top triathletes

On the ladies side, Scwhulst had to contend with former Junior SA Tri Champions Jodie Berry and Maude-Elaine le Roux as the trio battled it out for the ladies podium places. It was Berry that exited the water around 40 seconds ahead of Schwulst and Le Roux. Schwulst had the superior bike pedigree and she put this to good use by passing Berry early on the bike and opening up a commanding lead by the time they got off their bikes. Berry was riding strong on her own to increase the gap of Le Roux with the winds playing havoc with the rest of the age group field

Schwulst then extended that lead on the run to win in a fast time og 2:06 with Berry taking 2nd spot behind her and Le Roux rounding out the final podium spot for 3rd place

In the SPRINT TRI, Amber Schlebusch put in a superb performance to win the race overall. Biddi Theunissen took 2nd with Ashleigh Irvine-Smith taking 3rd to complete the ladies section– all three of these young ladies will be representing SA at the World Triathlon Championships in Australia next month. Old timer, Glen Gore managed to win the Male Sprint race followed by up and coming juniors, Cameron Nel and Jack Spence




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