Namibia: FNB Sandman Triathlon On Sunday

THE Swakopmund triathlon, which the community has enjoyed for the past 32 years, will take place on Sunday at the Mole.

FNB has made the longevity of this event possible by taking up the role as title sponsor for 12 years.

OTB Sport, the event organisers thanked FNB for their commitment to the event.

"There is a strong field in this year's event and we are expecting an exciting race in the different distances. It is a privilege to be able to host the triathlon, and without the generous sponsorship and 13 year commitment from FNB, it would have been very difficult to sustain the Swakopmund triathlon. We are extremely thankful to FNB for their sponsorship, involvement, and contribution to triathlon. We are very pleased to be able to host an event that locals and foreigners alike enjoy, and keep returning to year after year."

Participants can choose between the ultra triathlon (1,9km swim followed by a 90km cycle and a 21,1km run); the standard triathlon (1km/40km/10km); the sprint triathlon (400m/20km/3km) or the mini triathlon (150m/6km/3km).

In the ultra triathlon, Konrad Marais is the favourite in the elite men's category as well as the defending champion, but Horst Neuman, who is a top cyclist, could give Marais some stiff competition.

The Zimbabwean triathlete David Gardner is the favourite to win the ultra veteran men's category for the fifth year in a row, while he also has a good chance to be the overall male winner.

Paul Brinkmann is another strong contender in the veteran category, while Paddy Murphy is the favourite in the maters category.

The ultra women's elite category is expected to be a tight and interesting race between the national triathlon champion Benita Kasch and Risa Dreyer. Kasch has won the event twice over the past few years and is expected to get a good lead on the swim. But Dreyer is a great cyclist and runner, and will be a strong challenger for the elite title.

Adel de la Rey is expected to win the veteran women's title and Marion Himmel the masters title.

In the standard elite men's category, Divan du Plooy is the clear favourite. He was the winner of last month's RMB Off Road Triathlon, he is the national champion and competes in international ITU races, but Herbert Peters is expected to be a tough contender.

In the standard veteran men's category, Andrew Rowles is the favourite, although he can expect strong competition from Mark Spath and Pierre van Rensburg, who is an excellent cyclist and runner.

The standard elite female category is less clear-cut, with possible contenders including Bertha Theron, Frances Chase and Ilka Preschel.

In the veteran women's category, the contenders include Bronwen Chase and Charmaine Shannon.

In the sprint male category, the 12-year-old Nathan Chase has an excellent chance of winning the overall race, while a tight race is expected between the brothers Fourie and Ryan Steyn, and Micah Chase in the mini event.

OTB Sport also thanked African Marketing for their sponsorship of water tables, products and personnel over many years, as well as EMA that assists with medical support and response.

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