Seeing double or double success?

2009-05-29 00:00

Hannah and Carla Serfontein: Very competitive

 

A SET of identical twins who are competitive are Hannah and Carla Serfontein (11), who are in Grade 6 at Clarendon Primary. They have “come first and second in the school’s cross-country race every year since Grade 1,” said their mum, Deirdre Serfontein. “They compete with each other in everything, and it spurs them on, but it’s hard for the one who doesn’t win,” she said.

The girls are in different classes, which helps to reduce the competition between them. This year they played an April Fool’s Day joke on their teachers by swopping classes. Although all their friends knew, only one teacher caught on, they said.

The Serfontein twins also enjoy several sports. They are members of the school’s first athletics, hockey and swimming teams and are KZN provincial gymnasts. They took part in the Capital K at Midmar Dam in 2008.

According to Serfontein, the girls have a very close “love-hate relationship” and took their first steps within 15 minutes of each other. They share the same likes and dislikes: “We love the colour orange and

dachshunds but we hate fudge,” they said.

They answered some of my questions with exactly the same answers at exactly the same time.

Sarah and Kirsty Scott: Comrades to Scotty

RUSSIA has the “Twin Turbos”, Olesya and Elena Nurgalieva who won first and second in the recent Comrades Marathon, but Pietermaritzburg has its own set of identical twins who also share athletic abilities.

In their third Comrades, Kirsty and Sarah Scott (26) crossed the finish line in the same time of eight hours 28 minutes, but officially came in as the 51st and 52nd women. Their team, Collegians Harriers, came second in the Ladies’ Team Open section. “We had a good race and we didn’t moan or complain once,” said Kirsty. “The crowd support was fantastic, especially in Hillcrest because a runner behind us kept telling all the spectators that we were ‘the South African twins’.”

The Scotts are qualified fitness instructors who run Aqua Bodyworks Health and Fitness Centre in Clarendon. They have always been keen on sport, although while they were at high school at The Wykeham Collegiate, they pursued different sports. Sarah did gymnastics, which she now teaches, while Kirsty did horse riding. They are also keen on mountain biking and have participated in several triathlons and the Cape Odyssey, a five-day mountain run.

Although people often confuse them, they have “very different personalities”. Are they very competitive, as people often assume identical twins are? “No, our parents brought us up not to be. We never compete with each other, and fortunately we have never liked the same men,” laughed Sarah.

They intend to run the Comrades again in 2010 “and maybe we’ll catch up with the other twins next year”.

Tamia and Tamara Thomas: ‘We hate spinach’

Another set of identical twins who are 11 are Tamia and Tamara Thomas in Grade 5 at Athlone Primary. They excel at swimming, which they do at Midlands and KwaZulu-Natal level. Tamara is fastest at breaststroke and butterfly, while Tamia’s strokes are freestyle and backstroke. They once swam a freestyle race at a Midlands meet in which the first and second places went to “T. Thomas”. “The judges did not know which of us it was, but we assumed it was Tamia because it was freestyle.”

They also represent their school in athletics and again they excel in different events. Tamara is best at high jump, long jump and sprints, while Tamia is best at long-distance running, hurdles, and shot put. They confess to being “very competitive” but because they have different strengths they can cope with beating one another. They are very close but fight a lot, including over clothes, so their mum, Leonie, has learnt to buy two of everything to stop the fighting.

The Thomas’s teachers struggle to tell them apart and they like to play tricks on their dad, Quinton, who sometimes also battles to identify them.

They both like the same things and hate “spinach, snakes, spiders and horror movies”, but have different favourite colours: Tamara likes lilac, while Tamia likes baby blue and pink.

When Tamara had her appendix out, nurses noticed that Tamia was walking bent over because of a pain in her side. She could feel what her twin sister was going through.

The uncanny bond that exists between some sets was confirmed by another set of Pietermaritzburg identical twins, Lalia and Nadia, daughters of Adele Gould of Hayfields. Gould said Lalia was once rushed to hospital for an emergency appendix operation. At the same time, Nadia phoned from London to say she had “a terrible pain in her side. She had no idea her sister was in hospital. This happens often and we are now quite used to it,” Gould said.

The sisters are now 46 and Nadia Robinson lives in Johannesburg while Lalia Acutt lives here.

Odwa and Akona Ndungane: SA’s rugby twins

Say the word “twins” in rugby circles and many people will answer, like several who

e-mailed or left telephone messages: “Ndungane”. Both are Springboks and play wing, Odwa for the Sharks, while Akona is a Blue Bulls player. According to The Witness’ s rugby correspondent, John Bishop, both not only look alike but play alike. He describes them as “committed, busy, involved both in attack and defence.”

They have a “refreshing, positive approach to the game without frills or being underhand. Odwa is in the Bok training squad to play today in Windhoek; Akona is in the Bulls team to play in the Super 14 final tomorrow at Loftus.”

 

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