Eight Buffalo City athletes will be taking on the best in the world this week as they compete in the 2017 edition of the World Championships being held in Viviero, Spain.
The champs get under way tomorrow and continue until Sunday, with the world’s best set to battle it out for top honours.
Luke Tinhof, Liam Prime, Samatha Mouton, Batanai and Batsirai Muzenda, Rodney Westgate, Anita Louw and Sanchia Poovan will compete in either biathle, triathle or both over the champs and will be gunning for gold.
Westgate is a former world champion and he will know exactly what is expected of him on the world stage and he will also be looking to pass on some of that knowledge to the younger athletes.
Louw and the Muzenda brothers have also been to a number of world champs, so they also carry that experience with them, while Poovan competed at the Laser Run world champs last year, which is similar to the Triathle event which she will be competing in.
Tinhof, Prime and Mouton will be taking part in their first world champs and will be looking to learn as much as possible.
“Rodney is in f or a shout of a medal, he is our SA champ and if his performance there is anything to go by he will be very determined and more than likely right up there with the top three,” said Eastern Cape Modern Pentathlon Association chairman Shaun Richter.
“But we haven’t been told yet who has been entered from other countries, so I am not sure who our athletes will be up against, so I think they will all be looking for top 10 finishes, which would be a great effort.”
But to go over to the champs these athletes see what the competitions like, they come back a transformed athlete, they come back very determined with a whole new experience and you often see these athletes that return to rise up above their peers over the next few seasons.
“So that is why we send kids who might not win, but have potential as they will gain a lot of experience and come back a better athlete than when they left.”
In total 22 athletes from Buffalo City qualified for the world champs after impressing at the SA national champs which took place in George in July, with eight then electing to compete at the worlds.
Five of them made the Sampa Biathle team for top three finishes, including Westgate who won gold, Daniel Breetzke (gold), Louw (silver), Caleb Miestre (silver) and Dominic Lahoud (gold) and two in the Sampa Triathle Team, Rhys Poovan (silver), Louw (silver) and Tara Schwultz (bronze). The others made it into the development teams after impressing.
Presidents Biathle Team: Luke Tinhof, Liam Prime, Benjamin Arnold, Kesha Louw, Hannah Viviers, Caroline Kretzman, Isabella Stanyon, Zander Scholtz, Bradley Kretzman, Abigail Rululu, Samatha Mouton, Batanai Muzenda, Batsirai Muzenda
Presidents Triathle Team: Sanchia Poovan, Poala Signorile.
“Traditionally the Eastern Cape has always been strong at biathle and triathle and that hasn’t changed,” claimed Richter. “We always expect a large contingent to qualify and we know not everyone can compete due to various reasons such as other sporting commitments and other stuff. But we are very happy with the number that were selected and the number that are going to compete on the national stage.”