Bay lifesaver to defend her world title in Oz

Sive Zuzile

A NELSON Mandela Bay lifesaver is in top form for the upcoming World Rescue Competition in Australia next month.

Ranked as the No1 in beach sprints, Mandi Maritz, 22, a fourth year human movement science student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, will defend her title at the World Lifesaving Champs in Australia from November 6 to 19.

“I feel very excited about going down to Australia and I am looking forward to defending my title,” she said.

Maritz is the only Eastern Cape athlete in the 12-member South African team.

Maritz, who joined the Bluewater Bay Nippers 12 years ago, before she moved to Summerstrand for her senior training and voluntary duties where she is now an honorary life member, will compete in Australia for the first time.

The human movement science student competed in Japan at the Japan International Cup in 2007.

In 2008, she competed in Germany for the World Rescue Champs, then in 2010 in Egypt at the World Lifesaving Champs.

Unable to contain her excitement, her mother Tillie Maritz said: “We are so proud and excited for her, although we would have loved to go with her and support but it is all fine.”

A determined Maritz, who trains two to three times a day, is aware of the upcoming challenges.

“The previous competitions taught me how to handle pressure and how much my body can take. So mentally and physically, I am prepared to go all the way,” a confident Maritz said.

Her goal is to return home with four gold medals.

The South African team will depart on November 4 and will compete against 500 athletes .

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