Pienaar seventh in Spain | TeamSA - TeamSA

Pienaar seventh in Spain

Young Michael Pienaar had the race of his life as he finished seventh at the World Duathlon Championships in Gijon, Spain on Saturday.

Pienaar was by far the best performer of the South African team, as many of the more senior athletes battled against the incredibly tough competition on show at the Championships.

Italy’s Matthias Steinwandter was crowned champion covering the 5km run, 21.6km bike and 2.5km run on 56:31, a mere 24 seconds ahead of seventh placed Pienaar.

A group of eight athletes entered T1 together, including young Pienaar. The group needing only 15:34 ÔÇô 15:36 to cover the first run leg. Out on the bike, the bunch stayed together with only Italy’s Rudolph Alexandre Von Berg bridging the gap to them to make the lead bunch nine-strong. The Italian clocked 32:04 for the bike leg to the 32:27 average for the rest of the bunch.

Only in the final run was Pienaar dropped from the leaders. The young South African crossed the line in 56:55 for his first ever major international appearance.

Liezel van der Merwe finished 19th in the Elite Ladies race.

Results Junior Men
1 Matthias Steinwandter ITA 56min 31sec
2 David Mendoza MEX 56:36
3 David Castro Fajardo ESP 56:36
4 Nan Oliveras ESP 56:38
5 Delian Stateff ITA 56:42
6 Rodeolphe Alexandre von Berg ITA 56:49
7 Michael Pienaar RSA 56:55
8 Rhys Park GBR 56:59
9 Anton Melnikov RUS 57:06
10 Antonio Benito ESP 57:09