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Easy for Erhard

Everything went according to the form books at Sunday’s South African Triathlon Championships in Germiston as Erhard Wolfaardt successfully defended his title from 2009.

The Nestle Pure Life/Bar One triathlete lead from start to finish, crossing the line in 1hr 48min 04sec. Emerging out of the water (2x750m swim in Germiston Lake) in 18min 34sec Wolfaardt had a 7sec lead over BSG’s Hendrik De Villiers with Sander Berk, Wikus Weber (U23), Theo Blignaut (U23), Gavin Noble (Ireland) and Karol Barwikoski coming out in a bunch in around 19min and 20sec.

But Wolfaardt was in a class of his own the bike and further extended his lead. The 40km bike leg was an out an back course made up of four 10km laps which Wolfaardt needed only 57min 34 sec to cover.

The cycle leg was non-drafting, which meant the bunch that had emerged just under a minute behind Wolfaardt, could not draft themselves back onto his wheel. He certainly rode the cycle leg as a man possessed and showed in what good form he is in with the fastest leg of the day.

He then set out on the 10km run, also a 4 lap out and back course with the second fastest time, clocking 31:56. Only Richard Murray would run faster.

Sander Berk crossed the line in second, but being from the Netherlands, he would not take the silver medal. Neither would Marek Jaskolva who was third across the line. The silver medal went to Richard Murray who also won the U23 title. Hendrik De Villiers was third, although fifth overall.

Murray’s incredible ability to ride and run stood him in good stead today as he came from behind to win the U23 title. Murray was almost two minutes behind Wikus Weber and Theo Blignaut out of the water. He then proceeded to thunder 58:01 cycle leg. Although Weber had the faster cycle leg, Murray’s 31:13 for the 10km run was the fastest on the day and he was able to pass path Blignaut and Weber to claim the U23 title.

In the womens’ category Mari Rabie prevented pre race favourite Andrea Steyn from repeating her title win in 2009.
Steyn’s Achilles heel, the swim, was where she lost the race. In the 1500m swim the defending champion lost almost 3 minutes on Rabie and depite having faster bike and run legs, Rabie’s lead was to big to make up.

Rabie needed only 20min and 8 sec to cover the 2 lap swim course. Carlyn Fischer in the U23 Category was second out of the water (20:44) with Vicky Van Der Merwe (U23) third.

Steyn the flew through the bike course (4x10km out and back course) passing Fischer, Van Der Merwe, Riana De Lange, Kathryn Cronje, Caroline Koll and Viv Williams. Steyn needed only 1hr 3min11 sec for the 40km, to Rabie’s 1:05;07, but the gap was to big for her to make up on the 10km run.

Rabie needed 36min 27sec for the 10km run, Steyn┬á needed 36:06 to cross the line in 2:02;12 to Rabie’s 2:01;42. Third went to SA Long Distance Champion Caroline Koll.

Fischer showed how much talent there is in her small frame, by winning the U23 title in her first year in this age category. Fischer was second out of the water (behind Rabie) and although she had the slowest cycle leg, but she had the fastest 10km run and was clearly the class athlete in the U23 age category.