Namibia: Fine Turnout At First Triathlon

A fine turnout of close to 50 athletes participated in the Namibia Triathlon Union's first event of the year in the vicinity of the Olympia Pool on Sunday.

Despite it being only a social event, a big field participated in the triathlon, which consisted of a 750m swim, 20km cycle and a 5km run, and the duathlon which consisted of a 5km run, a 20km cycle and a 2,5km run.

"I must say I didn't expect such a big turnout for a social event. There were athletes I haven't even seen before, while many who competed in teams previously are now competing as individuals so it bodes well for the future," the president of the Namibia Triathlon Union, Pierre du Plooy said.

The Namibian triathlon champion Divan du Plooy, who is still competing in the junior category, comfortably won the men's triathlon in an overall time of one hour six minutes 19 seconds.

The veteran athlete Rauol Spangenberg came second overall in 1:17:33, while another veteran Philip Steyn came third overall in 1:19:10.

The 18-year-old Du Plooy is currently one of the top junior triathletes in African and according to his father, Pierre, he is aiming for continental success this year.

"Divan will compete in a few Africa Cup events over the next few months as well as the Junior African Championships in Egypt in April. He is in fine form at the moment - he won two events in South Africa in December and I believe he will definitely get a podium place at the African Champs," he said.

The women's triathlon saw a bit of a surprise as newcomer Risa Dreyer was a comfortable winner in 1:17:56, with Adele de la Rey coming second overall in 1:22:11 and Megan le Roux third overall in 1:30:49.

It was Dreyer's first ever sprint triathlon, which augurs well for her future.

"Risa only started triathlon's last year and then concentrated on the Ironman so this was her first sprint triathlon. After the swimming and the cycling legs Adele (de la Rey) was still in the lead with her, but Risa pulled away on the running leg," Du Plooy said.

In the duathlon, Johan du Plessis was the overall men's winner in 1:22:03, with the veteran Christopher du Plessis coming second in 1:22:40 and the master athlete Max Schafer third in 1:24:06.

Marion Schoneke was a comfortable winner of the women's race in 1:23:08, followed by Lindie Adrianse (1:31:25) and Leandie Labuschagne (1:34:18).

Du Plooy, meanwhile confirmed that Namibia will host the Africa Duathlon Sprint Cup on 17 October this year, while they will hold several events leading up to it.

The next triathlon and duathlon event will be held in Walvis Bay on 22 February, to be followed by one in Windhoek the following week on 1 March.

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