Biathlon kicks off with a bang

2017-09-06 06:00
: Ryan Thiersen, one of the Biathlon League participants.Photo: GCD-PICS

: Ryan Thiersen, one of the Biathlon League participants.Photo: GCD-PICS

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THE first Biathlon League race of the season took place this past weekend in perfect sunny weather.

Vice-chairman Shaun Richter said despite many athletes still being busy with their school winter sports programmes, the turnout was promising.

“The exciting multisport includes running and swimming and is suitable for all ages.

“This will be the second season of under eight athletes being included in the sport and it was exciting to see five- and six-year-olds taking part in the 400m run and 25m swim,” he explained.

The run took place at the Westbourne Oval, while the swimming followed at the Newton Park Swimming Pool.

Richter said, considering it was the first race of the season, there were some impressive performances.

Young Danny Baxter got the day off to a win in the under eight boys division and Minette van Zyl won the same age group for the girls.

Nathan Appels and Lisa de Villiers were the boy and girl winners in the under nine division.

Lieben Bester won the boys under 11 division on the back of a fantastic run and Abigail Holderness won the girls under 11 division.

Ruan le Roux dominated the boys under 13 race with massive wins in both the run and the swim, while fellow Summerwood pupil, Anke Serfontein, also won the run and the swim to claim first place for the under 13 girls.

Other winners among the older female athletes were Kerri-lee Barnard (u/15), Karla Scheffer (u/17), Chane Petzer (u/19), Jane Holderness (junior veteran) and Sunelle Horn (veteran). Among the boys the winners were as follows, Wehan Smith (u/15), Damien Smith (u/17), Jano Agenbag (u/19) and Simon Holderness (junior veteran).

Sixty-three-year-old Margie Saunders not only won the ladies masters division but also broke the South African record (unofficial when going to press).

“With athletes from 19 different schools taking part, ages ranging from five to 63 and more than five families with two or more athletes taking part (one family had mom, dad and all three daughters taking part), EP Biathlon truly is the premier family sport in the Port Elizabeth area. While EP hosts the 2019 SA Champs, now is the ideal time to start Biathlons,” Richter said.

The next league event will take place on September 16.

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