All-round athleticism sees local stars excel in national biathle tournament

2017-07-26 06:03

MORE than 30 athletes from The Nelson Mandela Bay Modern Pentathlon Association (NMBMPA) took part in the SA National Biathle Championships held in George at Glenwood School over the first weekend of the July holidays.

Biathle, a continuous run-swim-run event, is considered to be a tough sport that requires both mental and physical strength.

NMBMPA chairperson Shaun Richter commended the athletes for showing great sportsmanship after a season of hard work.

“The top performances of the day belonged to one of our younger female athletes, Keira van Heerden, in the u/11 category.

“She ran her heart out in an incredibly tough race and finished in third place.

“Another top performance of the day undoubtedly belonged to our oldest female athlete, Margie Saunders, who raced in the Masters 60 plus category and was in unbelievable form, dominating her race from the start to the end. Even more impressive was that in the Masters 60 plus category the men and women raced together.

“Therefore, she not only dominated the ladies race but also beat some of the men including the 2015 world champion,” Richter explained.

He added that other notable performances from the athletes included Ruan le Roux and Cameron Rafferty who fought incredibly hard but just missed out on podium finishes coming in 4th in their races.

The second day of the championships was the triathle event. Triathle is similar to biathle but incorporates the exciting discipline of laser shooting.

Gareth Vorster turned out to be the NMBMPA hero with a fantastic performance to take gold in the junior men category.

Keira van Heerden put in another good performance fighting with all she had and just missing out on making the podium.

Richter said the weekend proved very successful for all the athletes, where five athletes made it to the SAMPA Biathle team to go to Spain to compete in the World Champs and 17 athletes qualified for the president’s team for the same event.

“Most athletes’ attention will now shift to the Laser Run World City Tour taking place on August 12 in Nelson Mandela Bay,” he said. – REPORTER

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