DIVAN du Plooy underlined his growing reputation with a superb performance on Saturday to win the Namibia National Triathlon Championships.
Du Plooy, who is still only 17 years old, completed the 25,75km event in one hour six minutes 48 seconds to finish nearly a minute ahead of South Africa's Konrad Marais, while Andrew Rowles came third overall in 1:13:59.
The swimming leg consisted of 15 laps in the Olympia Municipal Pool and Du Plooy was first out, with a slight advantage over Marais.
Marais, who recently represented the senior South African triathlon team at the World Championships in Switzerland, overtook Du Plooy on the 20km cycling leg, but the Namibian caught him on the second lap of the 5km running leg, before pulling away to complete a comfortable victory.
Du Plooy also won the Mixed Team event with the Pro One team. His swimming time was combined with the run of Monique du Plessis and the cycle of Nick du Plessis as they came home in a winning time of 1:21:30.
The 'Trying Athletes' team of Wynand Dreyer, Adele Conradie and WJ Dreyer came second in 1:22:05, while 'Team TRI' of Adele de la Rey, Adri Marais and Adrian Key came third in 1:26:04.
Benita Kasch, meanwhile, was the overall winner of the female category, winning in a time of 1:19:02, followed by Melissa Hinz (1:20:53) and Adele de la Rey (1:21:05).
Du Plooy, who goes to school in Jeffreys Bay in South Africa, said he was satisfied with his performance.
"I'm quite satisfied with my performance considering that I came all the way from Jeffreys Bay to compete and the heat and the altitude was a bit of a problem. But I'm proud to be the national champion and I will continue to work hard to achieve my goal of qualifying for the 2024 Olympic Games," he said.
Du Plooy was born and raised in Walvis Bay, but moved to Jeffreys Bay in South Africa last year, mainly with the aim of competing at a higher level
That certainly helped, as he soon established himself as one of the top young prospects in southern Africa.
At the beginning of this year he won the Discovery Health Junior Sprint Africa Cup in Cape Town, while he also won the junior category at the South African Duathlon Championships in July.
His father, Pierre, who is also the president of the Namibia Triathlon said he fully deserved his success.
"I'm very proud of him, but his commitment is astonishing. He trains three to four hours each day, and up to six hours if you include his preparation time. He is only 17 and can still compete as a junior next year so we plan to enter him for the ATU Africa Cup series where he will aim to finish amongst the top three," he said.
Du Plooy senior said the event had a record turnout.
"We had a record entry of more than 60 triathletes, competing in various age group categories from under 14 up to the over 51 age group category. We also started the team series to try and get more participants and it was amazing to see how many entries we had," he said.
"I became the president of the NTF in March and Im am now trying to revive triathlon in Namibia. My main aim is to give the top athletes in the various age groups more exposure against stronger competition and earlier this year three Namibian athletes already compete in the 70.3 World Championships," he added.