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Wolfaardt and Steyn clean up

The favourite Hendrick de Villiers was upset in the South African Triathlon Championships in Germiston when the in-form Erhard Wolfaardt claimed his first national senior title. Andrea Steyn meanwhile, made no mistakes in the women’s race.

The 26-year-old Wolfaardt took control of the race within minutes after leaving T2 for the 10km run leg of the Olympic Distance Triathlon, raced in perfect conditions.

Emerging from the 1500m swim first was Dutchman Sander Berk, but right on his heals were all the main contenders in De Villiers, Wikus Weber, Erhard Wolfaardt, Kent Horner and Zimbabwe’s Chris Felgate.┬á

Theo Blignaut was 30 seconds off the leaders, whilst Stuart Marais who had such a phenomenal race at the 11 Global in Cape Town on 1 March to finish second, had to pull out of the swim after 200m.

The leading six set a furious pace on the four-lap 40km bike leg, helped by the fact that this is a draft legal race. Berk clocking the fastest cycle leg in 56min 33sec, but he was a mere second ahead of the chasers. Coming out of T2 though, Wolfaardt stamped his authority onto the race and had opened a 30-second gap over the chasing bunch by the end of the second of the two 2.5km laps. Quoted on his website as ÔÇ£been well prepared with things on the upÔÇØ, Wolfaardt is clearly the man to beat on the triathlon circuit these days after a winning six of the last seven BSG Energade Triathlon Races in 2008 and the inaugural 11 Global in Sun City on November.

Although he has moved to Potchefstroom, Wolfaardt races for Freestate Triathlon. His 30-second lead on the first run leg extended to 40 seconds and he crossed the line for his first senior national title in 1:49:55. Berk may have been second over the line, but being a foreigner the runner up spot goes to defending champion De Villiers with the bronze awarded to Cape Town’s Kent Horner.┬á

Weber was unstoppable in the U23 group, winning by a four-minute margin over Theo Blignaut for his first SA title.

Corinne Berg and an absolutely amazing swim covering the 1500m in 22:21 ÔÇô 90sec up on the chasing Andrea Steyn, Riana de Lange and Carla Germishuys. But Steyn has worked hard on her biking and with De Lange working with her, she made up a minute on over the 40km bike leg. Steyn is a strong runner and closed the 30sec gap on Berg on the first lap of the 10km run. Once she had rejoined with Berg, there was always only going to be one winner. Steyn is the fastest runner in the field and covered the 10km in 38:28 to draw away.