Mandi Augustyn looks to maintain stellar Lifesaving SA Championship record

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Mandi Augustyn
Mandi Augustyn
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Sport24, in partnership with DHL and LSA, previews the athletes who will make the biggest splash at next month's DHL Lifesaving SA National Championships...

Pre-Covid, you would know her as Mandi Maritz, the fastest woman in South Africa in beach sprints and one of the best in the world.

She now competes as Mandi Augustyn, but this is no rookie name on the circuit and a change of surnames won't represent a change of fortunes.

Get used to seeing the name Augustyn in women's competitive Lifesaving, in South Africa and abroad because the queen isn't prepared to relinquish the crown of South African beach-sprinting and flags royalty.

Augustyn, now 31 and competing for Durban Surf, has been winning in Lifesaving competitions since the age of 10. No female has dominated her disciplines with such consistency as Augustyn and few have retained such humility, despite such success.

The National Champs, in which 1000-plus athletes will be competing in Gqeberha from 2-9 October, didn't happen in 2020 because of Covid, and while many of the seasoned South African stars won't be at this year's event, the presence of Augustyn is an immediate lift for the federation, the title sponsor and those who get to watch from a distance.

It may not be such good news for her younger rivals.

"I do a few surf events, but my primary focus is the sand and my routine mainly involves track work four times a week and gym work three times a week. I do my technique work on the beach close to the competition season twice a week," says Augustyn, who admits that she will need to find an extra gear to beat her best friend, Melissa Corbett.

"During Covid, I started a new sport in cross-country mountain biking and I will be competing in the XCO SA Champs prior to the Lifesaving National Champs, so there will be fatigue and the body will be sore, but I still believe I will have the ability to maintain my record for being the best on the sand," she says.

"Melissa will be my main competition. She has been training all season and is in top shape. She keeps me on my toes and hopefully, I get to keep her on her toes."

Augustyn (then Maritz), in her very first international event in Japan in 2007, beat the world champion, Australia's Melissa Cracoft Wilson, and in 2010 won the World Championship Interclub Open Women's beach sprint gold.

But it is what she can do in October that is of relevance to her.

"I am extremely proud of what I have achieved in Lifesaving and what I have won, but that won't win me this year's events and with retirement a prospect, I'd want to add one more flags and beach sprints national title to my name."

Mandi Augustyn

*Mandi (Maritz) Augustyn career highlights (2007-2019):

2007 - Japan - Sanyo Bussan International Cup - Gold in flags

2008 - Germany - Rescue World Lifesaving Champs - 4th sprints

2009 - Durban - International Lifesaving Cup - silver in flags and sprints

2010 - Egypt - Rescue World Lifesaving Champs - Gold sprints, bronze flags

2012 - Australia - Rescue World Lifesaving Champs - Silver in sprints and flags

2014 - France - Rescue World Lifesaving Champs - Silver flags

2016 - Netherlands - Rescue World Lifesaving Champs - bronze flags

2017 - Japan - Sanyo Bussan International Cup - Silver in flags and sprints

2018 - Japan - Sanyo Bussan International Cup - Gold in flags and sprints

2018 - Australia - Rescue World Lifesaving Champs - Silver sprints

2019 - Durban - International Lifesaving Cup - Silver flags

DHL Lifesaving National Championships Schedule:

2-4 October - Senior Surf

4-5 October - Juniors Surf

4-5 October - Nippers Pool

6-9 October - Nippers Surf

6-9 October - Senior and Juniors Pool

DHL Lifesaving SA

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