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Sanders seals second spot at SA Championships

By Mark Etheridge

London Olympics triathlete Gill Sanders has got her year off to a rollicking start with two podiums in the space of two weeks.

The latest of her successes came in East London at the weekend when she raced to runners-up spot at the South African Championships.

Primarily based in London, Sanders had to deal with climactic extremes. “It was very hot in East London (around 35deg Celcius) so flying in from a European winter to race in those conditions was pretty tough,” reflected Sanders as she took some time out to recover in Hilton, KwaZulu-Natal.

Cape Town’s first ever hosting of a World Triathlon Series event next month is Sanders’ first main target this year and as such she hasn’t let up on training at all.

“I had a great swim, was third out the water. I’ve worked a lot on my swim over the winter and have seen some really good progress.

“The bike was uneventful, we rode as a pack of nine. Then on the run, I took the lead straight away and only the Russian came with me and we pulled a decent lead on the other girls.

“We ran shoulder to shoulder the entire run and unfortunately she just pipped me by five seconds.”

The Russian referred to was Arina Shulgina who went on to clock 2hr 05min 30sec for the event. “It still meant I was SA champ and my second podium in two weeks having won the ITU African Cup sprint event in Sharm el Sheikh [Egypt] convincingly,” says Sanders who is now in confident frame of mind for the rest of the year.

Sanders clocked 2:05:35, comfortably clear of All Africa Games champion Carlyn Fischer (2:06:54).

“The year has started very well for me and will hopefully continue to get even better with the Cape Town World Series race in a months time now.”