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Letter | Bay people’s support praised

Professional male triathletes race into the water after the starting cannon fires at the Ironman African Championships
Professional male triathletes race into the water after the starting cannon fires at the Ironman African Championships
Image: Eugene Coetzee

The Ironman African Championship has come and gone, and having seen and experienced this event for the second time as mayor I’m more convinced than ever that it has cemented our title of South Africa’s Ironman city.

Attending the championship prizegiving event was again an inspirational experience.

Not only was this event won by our own home-grown professional triathlete, Kyle Buckingham, it was hailed by the organisers and participants as the “best ever” in our city and continent.

The foreign and domestic athletes, and age-group champions couldn’t say enough about the event, its organisation, the cleanliness and security, the amazing volunteers, and the swim, run and cycle course itself.

The greatest praise and appreciation was, however, reserved for the public, our citizens, who came out in their thousands to support, encourage and appreciate these amazing sportsmen and women.
This praise was universal and heartfelt – both the men’s and women’s champions made special mention of this in their acceptance speeches.

It confirmed for me just how special our city is and how fortunate we are to live in Nelson Mandela Bay.

Thank you to every single person who made this event such a success and for being part of putting our city on the global stage.

The economic benefit has been inestimable, and the TV exposure has been critical in promoting this city as a sports and tourism destination of choice in Africa.

Now we can all look forward to the world Ironman 70.3 world championships also scheduled to take place in our city on September 1 and 2.

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