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Claude, Carla start with victory

Claude Eksteen and Carla Van Huysteen proved too strong in the first of the seven-legged BSG/Energade sprint triathlon series at Roodeplaat Dam in Pretoria at the weekend.

The series travels around the country and finishes in Cape Town on 5 December. Returning from a busy European schedule, culminating in the Grand Finale (world championships) in Budapest in September, not all of the countries top athletes raced, and some joined forces to compete in the team event. Conditions were hardly ideal with a gusty wind blowing and temperatures hovering around the 30 degree mark.

But Claude Eksteen, Erhard Wolfaardt and Abrahm Louw all made an appearance. Only seven seconds separated the three out of the water clocking 7min 53sec and 8:03 for first Louw, then Wolfaardt and Eksteen respectively. But once on the bike for the 20km ride, the class of Eksteen and Wolfaardt ÔÇô even though not racing flat out ÔÇô came to the fore. Eksteen and Wolfaardt needing 29:23 and 29:27 respectively, with Louw coming in 13sec later. Eksteen then surged for a further three second advantage on the final 5km run to win the first race in 53:53 with Wolfaardt clocking 54:01. Louw finished third almost a minute later.

Carlyn Fischer was, as expected, out of the water first in the women’s race, but was caught on the bike by Riana De Lange, Carla Van Huysteen, Robyn Williams and Samantha Ferriera. The group came into T2 together, but Carla’s run strength then came to the fore as she dropped the group. Van Huysteen won in 1:03;50 with Fischer 21 seconds adrift.

600m swim  20km bike         5km run         Total

1 C Eksteen 8:03        29:23        16:27        53:53
2 E Wolfaardt 8:03        29:27        16:30        54:01
3 A Louw 7:53        29:40        17:25        54:58
1 C v Huysteen    9:37                  34:04        20:08    1:03;50
2 C Fischer    9:17                  34:16        20:38        1:04;11
3. T Glover    9:22                  34:47        20:44    1:04:54