Letter | Bay triathletes deserve recognition

2 September 2018 - The Isuzu Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay
2 September 2018 - The Isuzu Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Nelson Mandela Bay
Image: Eugene Coetzee

Having joined the triathlon “family” as a result of my son taking up this incredible sport, I was indeed so cheered by the article by Amir Chetty, “PE athlete crowned age group world champion” (September 4).

Local triathletes do not get enough exposure in the local press for all their extreme dedication, immense hard work/training and passion for the sport.

Having been exposed to the amount of training these athletes put in at first hand, I ask if these triathletes could have their efforts publicised, not only for world events but also for our Standard Bank Ironman events held nationally every year – and not necessarily only for the winners, but for placed results as well.

What a spectacular event the 70.3 Isuzu World Ironman Championships was, and if our wonderful city has not gained magnificent exposure from our own shores and abroad, I will be gobsmacked.

Congratulations to all concerned in putting on an event of this magnitude, the organisers, traffic police, the hundreds of volunteers who took on their duties with such passion and commitment, and other people who I may have omitted.

I also extend my congratulations to Michelle Enslin for a fantastic result.

I’m sure she won’t begrudge me if I feel there are other triathletes who deserve recognition as well.

A legend of the sport at such a young age, congratulations to Richard Lawrie, of the MTD training academy, who was the first Port Elizabeth triathlete home in a great time of four hours 13 minutes and 56 seconds (in a distance short of his best), 14th in his age group (25 to 29), the 63rd triathlete overall and also the ninth South African to finish.

A very notable effort was achieved by Derron Thomson, the second Port Elizabeth triathlete home in the same age group in a time of 4:13:56 and 14th South African home and 99th finisher overall.

I am so proud of Carl Mangan (who is, in my opinion, one of the most improved triathletes in the country after only taking up the sport 28 months ago, but then I could be biased!), who achieved a finishing time of 4:21:40, the third PE triathlete home overall, 35th in the 25 to 29-year age group, 139th finisher overall and, most importantly, the 21st South African home in a world championship.

Congratulations to Terry Thornton (ninth finisher in his age group) and Antonelle Saporta (seventh finisher in her age group), of the Port Elizabeth triathlon family, on your wonderful efforts as well.

All the other PE triathletes who competed so courageously are all champions in my eyes because I know of the ups and downs, the heartbreaks that can occur on race day and the extreme training you put in at all times.

Thanks to Raynard Tissink and Kyle Buckingham, who have inspired so many triathletes of our city, for putting this wonderful sport on the map for future generations and indeed for all our development triathletes as well.

Our local business community, please try to support our local, aspiring triathletes in this very expensive sport, and reward them for all their hard work and passion whenever possible, if only to meet expenses and travel costs when competing around the world.

I acknowledge Keegan Cooke and Travis McGrath’s extreme efforts in aspiring to reach the top of your Olympic distance disciplines.

Del Mangan Broadwood, Port Elizabeth