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Dance waltzes to Hungarian win

Young Lauren Dance was a step ahead of some of the world’s best junior athletes in Egirdir at the 2009 Egirdir ETU Triathlon Junior European Cup in Hungary on Sunday.

One of the seven South African juniors to compete in two Junior European Cup Events as part of Triathlon South Africa’s endeavour to nurture future talent, Dance covered the half-Olympic distance in one hour seven minutes and 27 seconds.

According to High Performance Manager Lindsey Parry who accompanied the team, the conditions could not have been better — 31 degrees with no wind. ÔÇ£The youngsters did way better than any of us anticipated in their first international outing. Turkey was a bit of a culture shock for the youngsters, but they can hold their heads up high.ÔÇØ

Dance was second out of the water, 19sec behind Croatia’s Sara Vilic, but once on the bike, Lauren proved in a class of her own, covering the 20km cycle in 35:06 ÔÇô over two minutes ahead of Vilic ÔÇô and then needed just 21:58 for the 5km run to win by a gaping 5:09.

Henri Schoeman also had an incredible race in the Junior Men’s Event. Exiting the water first in 8:16 for the 750m swim, Schoeman was caught on the bike by Russia’s Ivan Kalashnikov. The Russian had the fastest bike leg (30:14 for the 20km), which gave him a big enough lead to win. Schoeman’s bike was only joint fifth fastest, but his lead out of the water gave him an edge over a fast-closing Ognjen Stojanovic of Serbia and compatriot Rudolf Naude. Schoeman held on for second,9sec ahead of Stojanovic and just under a minute ahead of Naude.

Carlyn Fischer though had some bad luck as she broke her collarbone and now returns to South Africa on the first available flight where she will see a doctor at the High Performance Centre of the University of Pretoria on Tuesday.